book bans

Tulsa’s Kindergarten Kids Almost Lost This Buster Book About Gay Mommies

Rather than let children be exposed to Marc Brown’s book Buster’s Sugartime — where Buster, of the PBS series, visits his mom’s two lesbian friends in Vermont, Karen and Gillian, and their three kids — the Tulsa County Union Public School District was considering a good old fashion booked burning!

Okay, no actual fire; this is the 21st century after all, and school boards don’t act crazy anymore!

Instead, the school district heard an appeal Wednesday night to remove the book (which also makes mention of Buster’s friend’s Lilly’s moms, Tracy and Gina!) from library shelves, after parents Don and Mary Danz complained about The Gays.

But after the Board of Education considered the matter at a public hearing — which did not permit comments from the public — they opted to do the responsible thing, and keep the book stocked. The 3-1 vote confirms an October ruling by the district’s Materials Review Committee, which voted 6-1 to deny the parent’s request.

According to the district’s review committee meeting minutes, the Danzes said their kindergarten-age son brought the book home from Thomas Jefferson Elementary School’s media center and that they thought the reference to “two moms” was not appropriate for elementary-age children.

Don Danz, an attorney, told the school board that rather than from a religious or moral perspective, his problem with the book was that it advocated a practice that is not recognized under Oklahoma’s constitution.

“For kindergarten through fifth grade, material that advocates — that’s the author’s stated goal — positions, behavior, relationships which are objectively contrary to well-established Oklahoma law” are inappropriate, Danz said.

“If a subject matter is inappropriate for a grade level, passing or surpassing all the other criteria (that would make it appropriate) does not save it,” Danz said. “The tough decision is to pull this book. Don’t make this book part of the curriculum; don’t make same-sex unions part of the curriculum.”

[Tulsa World]

(Thanks, Keith!)

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  • Rachel

    In the last 15 years I can’t remember the board banning any books. One respect in which Tulsa Union has the right idea.

    I love that the parent is arguing on its legality when the book is set in Vermont where marriage is legal and none of the references in the book even seem to indicate a marriage. Having two moms is not illegal in OK, dumbass. They just can’t get married.

    And I played softball with the board member voting in favor of removal. I hope he knows he failed epically at hiding the gays from his daughter. :s

  • Rachel

    @Rachel: Oops, meant to say with the daughter of the board member…

  • Ozymandias

    ““I recently re-read a book I first read when I was in elementary school, and all the characters in it but one were advocates and apologists for an activity that is illegal in the state of Oklahoma,” Payton said. “Not only that, the main characters were engaged in burglary, theft and criminal fraud, and we would have to take that book off the shelf.”

    “What book?” asked board member Scott McDaniel.

    “It’s ‘Huck Finn,’” replied Payton.” SCORE!!

  • REBELComx

    Yet another ridiculous attempt to disguise religious bias as “secular” legal concern. One has to wonder what other books this library has that might include illegal or morally objectionable material. Will they ban dictionaries like that school in California? Or how about encyclopedias? Sure hope there isn’t a Bible in that library. It’s just filled to the brim with violence and sex.
    I love when little kids go through that stage where they always ask the same question no matter what answer you give them. That question is “Why?” This is exactly what we should be doing to these people trying to hide their bigotry behind a mask of false logic and secular concern. Ask Why often enough and you’ll get down to the hard of a matter. Scratch deep enough and you’ll always find the festering infection of religious based hate.

  • Wade macMorrighan

    Hey, isn’t it queer how NO ONE seems to draw OBVIOUS Nazi parallels to fanatical Christian groups (even harmful ones such as NOM) who engage in similar activities, like book burnings? What’s THAT all about?!

    BTW, why the hell do Christian parents (who like to whine, “Think of the children!”) behave as if a PUBLIC SCHOOL ought to bow and scrape at their religious whims?! That’s offensive!

    Sooooo…if they showed an interracial couple, would the parents have complained? The argument is the same!

  • Soakman


    Actually the argument is completely different. But none-the-less a terrible argument. He’s arguing that content inside of books at an elementary school level ought not to include content that in real life is unsanctioned by the laws of the state that the book is contained in.

    What an awful awful argument. There goes pretty much every sci-fi an fantasy book written for young adults. “What? But in Oklahoma, it’s not okay to keep children living in closets. It is also not okay to blow up people like balloons or loose the animals at the zoo. Therefore, no Harry Potter in public libraries across the state.”

    What a stupid argument. Also, can you imagine what kind of effect this would have on books by foreign authors? Or classic books and poems written by the likes of Dickens, Poe, and the rest?

    Yes. Let’s please keep our children illiterate and stupid.

  • Huntre (not Hunter! Huntre!)

    eragon, artemis fowl, percy jackson, and more.
    in history books criminals are taught about.

    Oklahoma law? Ha! that does not exist in books or movies!

    I live in Oklahoma and i am 17, i found this site on accident but i go to union schools and this makes me mad. Is school not to learn? And going off onto another subject, I was in class today, art actually, and a girl was talking about her girlfriend don’t know the specifics but a minute later the teacher walked up to her, gave her a hallpass, and told her to go to the Principal.

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