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HomePoliticsAnchorage schools remove 'Gender Queer' graphic memoir from school shelves

Anchorage schools remove ‘Gender Queer’ graphic memoir from school shelves

Anchorage School District has removed a book titled “Gender Queer” from school library shelves after complaints from parents.

According to a parent, Superintendent Deena Bishop wrote “This particular book was ordered in a batch purchase of a library association ‘award winners’ package.”

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According to the Amazon review, author “Maia Kobabe, who uses e/em/eir pronouns, thought that a comic of reading statistics would be the last autobiographical comic e would ever write. At the time, it was the only thing e felt comfortable with strangers knowing about em. Now, Gender Queer is here. Maia’s intensely cathartic autobiography charts eir journey of self-identity, which includes the mortification and confusion of adolescent crushes, grappling with how to come out to family and society, bonding with friends over erotic gay fanfiction, and facing the trauma and fundamental violation of pap smears.”

The book has since been moved to the public library, according to a note from Superintendent Deena Bishop.

“As I shared with you in my reply, I have asked for a review of this book. Yesterday, a final report of this review and a meeting with all librarians took place. I will share the update to you now. I am recommending this book not be in circulation in our libraries. We had found one copy and will remove it from circulation,” she wrote.

“It will be available to the general public via the Muni’s local public libraries; however, students will not have access via the shared resources process for an electronic or hardback copy. Thank you for your feedback on this book. It is an adult novel, and while many adult authors such as Stephen King and Jody Picoult, are appropriate for our teen readers, our assessment is that this one is not appropriate for our school libraries,” she wrote to a parent.

It’s unclear how many children had access to the book that was chosen for them by librarians, presumably with librarians with masters degree in library science.

One of the pages in the ‘Gender Queer’ memoir.

This is the same book that a parent started reading aloud to a school board in California in October, making national news. Orange County School Board Chair Teresa Jacobs directed police officers to remove parent Jacob Engels when he began reading it into the microphone during the public testimony portion of the meeting. He had found the graphic novel in the local high school library, and discovered detailed written and graphic depictions of sex acts, some of which may be considered pornographic.

Engels was removed when he got to the part about “a new strap-on harness,” which “fit my favorite dildo perfectly. School Board Chair Jacobs said “the language he just read is inappropriate for this forum. This is the first time I’ve heard of this and the board has heard of this. We will look into it, and I do hope the book is removed. OK? And if not, we’ll be back here having this conversation again, but I can guarantee you, I did not know that book was in the library.” The Orange Times and Observer wrote that the book was indeed removed from the school library shelves.

Watch Jacob Engel reading the book and being removed from the school board meeting at this link. Or here:

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Suzanne Downing
Suzanne Downing
Suzanne Downing had careers in business and journalism before serving as the Director of Faith and Community-based Initiatives for Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and returning to Alaska to serve as speechwriter for Gov. Sean Parnell. Born on the Oregon coast, she moved to Alaska in 1969.


  1. “According to a parent, Superintendent Deena Bishop wrote “This particular book was ordered in a batch purchase of a library association ‘award winners’ package.”

    This sounds like an honest answer, but it definitely leads one to wonder how many ‘batch purchases’ or the equivalent was made to/through those spendy School Board Associations written about in the previous article.

  2. What they aren’t saying is that promoting this “Diversity and Equity” material is the top priority of the school board itself, with Bellamy spearheading the effort. Elections have consequences.

  3. Just sickening! This is probably a “simplistic” comment, but what happened to the focus on reading, science, math, and history in our schools. I’m an old lady and retired with a successful career after my education in the Anchorage school system. Band, music, extracurricular activities never included exposure to any of the likes of this abomination. In my day, even “dirty jokes” didn’t include this kind of garbage. Now, among the “enlightened” educators, this seems to be the the norm that is being pushed. Now, the school board is planning to force more school bonds on the taxpayers to build three new elementary schools with a declining student population. Give me a break! Has this system produced teachers who don’t have the ability to teach anything but perversion? Has this school system produced a politically popular school board that has no fiscal management skills? Just sayin’.

  4. And to the current superintendent of schools – “This particular book was ordered in a batch purchase of a library association “award winners’ package”. Well, my goodness, you, with your elite doctorate and staff didn’t discern this pornographic piece. Maybe it would be a good idea to keep an eye on the “batch purchases” your staff orders. Do your job – oh you are leaving when the school year is over after soaking the taxpayers of how any school bonds? Good riddance!

  5. Pure filth! But good enough for the Anchorage Assembly to allow it at the public library. Wait. Half of the members of the Assembly have already placed it on reserve for their reading pleasure.

    • I say going to the public library with a heavy black marker, finding this “book”, and properly editing each and every page with said heavy black marker, would be doing a positive public service for the community.

  6. Is it too soon to anticipate a sea change in the power of “librarians with masters degrees in library science” to select books for children’s libraries? How about the blanket purchase of their “award winners’ package”? Do they even read these books before shelving them for children? I quite reasonably assume that they do and must therefore condone even cartoonish porn for children’s reading. Any one of them who blanket-approves the “award winners’ package” without first reviewing the contents of the books should have their credentials and their commitment to the safety of children reassessed. In view of the simpleton masters degrees available now, their clear indifference to their true obligations determining the quality of books for children needs to be a determining factor against further employment in this capacity.

  7. I was unaware that librarians were giving awards for pornography. Good to know. It’s just “fabulous” that this is still available in the public library, since it shows such a wealth of essential information (snark). Maybe instead of demanding a head librarian steeped in this kind of “library science,” we should consider someone who has at least an inkling of what decency consists.

    • Since there are no longer any fines for overdue books from the Anchorage public library system, who or what is to stop me (or anyone else) from finding this book, signing it out, and just never returning it? In fact, that is EXACTLY what I will do!
      How about them apples, wokesters?

  8. in my opinion, Woke culture has a choke hold on our children. What books are in the library that the parents aren’t aware of? In one school the book It’s Perfectly Normal and Middle School’s a Drag are in the library. Unbelievable. The School Board (Except for one) is not doing its job. Parents should form a committee in each school to check what books are in the library. However, there is one group that is fighting back. Check out Hero’s of Bet you won’t see these books in school libraries. They are too educational and moral.

  9. Another aspect of the evil WOKE agenda is revealed. Just one of the several reasons that our children are being taught to keep secrets from their parents. They’ve made our public school system a feeding and breeding ground of evil.

  10. This defies all logic. How in the hell did this even get into a school library in the 1st place. Our education system has been broke for decades now. Call me an old fart that doesn’t have offspring in the school system anymore. But until we get back to the ” 3 R’s” it’s going to continue to crash.
    I’ve been in management for several years now and I’m always on the hunt to functionally literate young talent for our company. These are well paying fulltime blue collar positions. These positions requires a good work ethic, pass a drug test, with random testing and basic knowledge of the “3 R’s”. What the school systems are producing now is a shame. I blame not only the school systems but the parents not engaging with there kids and with the school system.

  11. What a schizophrenic world we live in! Can’t say a nasty word on the radio. Movies and TV shows now come with warnings about “sex, violence, smoking….”. Can’t be sure if the person you are addressing is a gal or guy and you can’t ask either…. but our school board and the credentialed and educated librarians and teachers get to distribute pure pornography to our children in plain sight……and somehow THAT’s okay?????

    • If you had that book in your possession, the FBI could arrest you for child porn. Fed law is that even cartoon child porn is the same as photographic. That they usually don’t bother to enforce it doesn’t negate the crime.

  12. This book should never have made it into our school libraries!!!! So we’ve been told it was a mistake because it came with a group of books?? Well, SOMEONE had to place it on the shelves!!! Stop treating the public like we are blithering idiots!!! A 5 year old child could makeup a better excuse!!

  13. The internet has far worse material much more easily accessible to kids. Maybe not for a elementary-middle school, but maybe high school library. If it was a man/woman situation would we still be having this conversation?

    • Your “logic” in defending the indefensible, Noneya, leaves much to be desired.
      So what if the internet has worse material on it? We are not discussing the internet here, but public school library material. By introducing such disgusting filth into public schools, this kind of material will or would be seen by children in those schools as approved and acceptable, as it otherwise would never have been placed into those school libraries in the first place. Is THAT the message you want to send easily impressionable young people?

    • I agree there are materials far worse on the internet, Most elementary/middle school student I know do not have unfettered access to the internet and this falls into parental choice.
      Yes we will have this discussion regardless of the sex of the individuals displayed. Promoting pornographic material of any kind in a school setting is inappropriate. These are topics that parents discuss with their children, when they feel their children are cognitively and emotionally ready for the subject matter.

  14. This is criminal. There is no difference between child molesters staking out school grounds and grooming innocent unsuspecting children for their evil and the school officials who authorized the purchase, ordered the book, placed it on the shelf and encouraged children under the guise of diversity and equity to read it. How can anyone in their right mind poison these precious children?

    These people must be brought out into the light of day so the community of Anchorage will know who they are. Why do we even have a Sex Offender registration when the people responsible for this get away under the cover of a school board that chooses to hide the truth.

    I say arrest them, convict them under AS12.63.010 to be registered as sex offenders residing within the State of Alaska and subject to the Alaska Department of Public Safety which is charged with maintaining the registry created.

    I do not know Deena Bishop but this excuse, “According to a parent, Superintendent Deena Bishop wrote ‘This particular book was ordered in a batch purchase of a library association ‘award winners’ package.’”, is flimsy, meaningless, pretentious and standard bureaucratic CYA. We as a community must demand a clear explanation and appropriate disciplinary action and yes, criminal action. The ASD should immediately disassociate from whatever library association responsible for this batch purchase recommendation of award winning books.

    Also to say this “child porn” has been put into the Anchorage public library is beyond belief.

    Who is this woman?

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