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Western Massachusetts Town To Hire Law Firm To Investigate Gender Queer Police Investigation At Middle School

February 1, 2024

Great Barrington’s board of selectmen plans to hire a law firm to investigate a police investigation at a local public middle school seeking a graphic novel called Gender Queer.

The teacher at the center of the police investigation wants to know who told police to investigate the presence of the book.

Selectmen voted to hire the law firm during a meeting on Wednesday, January 31, according to The Berkshire Eagle.

The newspaper reported (with link in the original):


It was on Dec. 8 that someone complained to police that the sexually explicit material in the illustrated novel, “Gender Queer,” might be pornographic. The complainant, whose identity is only known to police, also said they had overheard the teacher telling students “don’t tell your parents” and said they observed a student sitting on the teacher’s lap, according to the police report.


The town’s police chief has apologized for the investigation at the school.

As New Boston Post reported in early January 2024, Gender Queer is a graphic novel memoir of a biologically female narrator who identifies as a male.  It has comic-book images of sexually explicit material, including masturbation, oral sex, self-harm, and nudity.

Supporters of Gender Queer say it has literary merit and offers an important message of support for kids going through gender identity struggles, and that targeting the book amounts to book-banning, which they say is bad.

Opponents of Gender Queer say it has disturbing images that amount to pornography and offers inaccurate and unhealthy messages about human sexuality likely to harm children, and that it doesn’t belong in a school.


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