A man was forcibly removed from a Florida school board meeting for merely reading a passage from a book available to check out at the local high school’s library, Fox News reported Thursday.
The incident reportedly took place at an Orange County Florida School Board meeting earlier this week.
According to Fox, a concerned man named Jacob Engels brought to the school board’s attention a book that could be found on their library shelves.
“I’m going to read a passage of a book that’s floating around in your schools that has been banned from many other schools,” Engels said. “As a member of the LGBT community, the fact that this is floating around for children as young as ninth grade is concerning.”
“You’re out of order”
Engels went on to read a passage from the book, entitled Gender Queer: A Memoir. According to Fox, the “sexually explicit” excerpt “described sexual acts using strap-on devices.”
Engels didn’t get too far before he was cut off by Teresa Jacobs, the chair of the school board.
“Sir,” Jacobs said, interrupting Engels. At this point, the audience urged Engels to continue reading, but Jacobs continued, “Mr. Engels, you’re out of order.”
Engels went on reading, and Jacobs swiftly had him removed from the meeting by police officers, Fox reported.
“I understand the contradiction”
According to Fox, Jacobs later responded to concerns about the book’s presence in the school library, saying:
I understand that book is in the classroom, and the language he just read is inappropriate for this forum. […] I understand the contradiction here. This is the first time I’ve heard of this and the board has heard of this.
She added: “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.”
If there is any good news to this story, it is that four copies of the book found on the shelves of local high school libraries have now been removed, reports confirmed.
It’s concerning, however, to think about how that book got there in the first place, and whether there are more of its kind sitting on shelves nearby.