Northland Parent Association Causes Book Removal in District


NPA president James Richmond reads passage of “Fun House” aloud at district board meeting

Aurora Nicol, Co-editor

On October 26, 2021, at a North Kansas City Schools board meeting the Northland Parent Association presented their list of books they wanted removed from the libraries within the district.
The parent association has done the same in other visits to board meetings within the Northland, including Liberty. Their list includes student favorites like Angie Thomas’s “The Hate U Give,” John Green’s “Looking for Alaska,” Juno Dawson’s “This Book is Gay,” August Wilson’s “Fences,” and others.
The NPA justified their opposition to the books within their list as being “sexually inappropriate” and even went as far as labeling these books as “child pornography.”
James Richmond, president of the NPA specifically targeted four books, which he read choice passages from at the meeting: “Fun Home” by award winning author Alison Bechdel, “Boy” by Jonathan Nevison, “Out of Darkness” by Ashley Hope Perez, and “All Boys aren’t Blue” by George M. Johnson.
Richmond did not read a passage from the last book but went on to say, “This book is an autobiography detailing the authors journey through life as a gay, black man. I don’t even need to read it because it’s basically the same crap that was in the rest of the books.”
Many of the books within the list have authors of color, or queer authors. See their full list here.
Within days of the meeting on Oct. 28 librarians across the district were told by district administration to remove the four books the NPA had spoken of during the meeting. These books were “All Boys Aren’t Blue,” “Fun Home,” “Boy,” and “Out of Darkness.”
Northtown’s library only had two of the four books: “All Boys aren’t blue,” and “Fun Home” have been consequently removed. What is especially odd about the situation is the formal complaint process, a process to remove a book from the library, was never filed and as of November fourth, still hasn’t been filed. Traditionally if a parent or student has a problem with a book in the library, they may file a “reconsideration complaint” with the district which will review the book by a panel of teachers and administrators, which then decides to keep or remove.
Students have retaliated by creating a digital petition, which can be signed here. The petition is to keep the books in district libraries, it has collected over five hundred signatures and will be shared at the next board meeting on the 22nd.
The Buzz will continue to report on the NPA.