Parents in Manitoba City Want Sexually Explicit Books Removed From Libraries

Parents in Manitoba City Want Sexually Explicit Books Removed From Libraries

Parents in southern Manitoba are campaigning to have public library funding cut in seven communities if they do not remove sexually explicit children’s books from the shelves of south-central regional libraries.

Parent David Wall gave a presentation at the Winkler City Council meeting on Dec. 13, reading excerpts “taken from young adult books available at local libraries.”

He said books labeled “sex education books” by libraries and the media are cataloged as “sex education” by their publishers.

Wall said, “The difference: Sex education focuses on the basic anatomy and biology of sex. However, these books teach our children how to engage in various sexual acts.”

Wall asked the councilman to look at “cartoon-style drawings” from two books, It’s Perfectly Normal and Sex Is A Funny Word.

“The images show people having sex, a naked boy with an erection and a girl with sagging breasts examining her fully exposed anus and vagina with a mirror,” Wall said.

Pornography, parents say

“Pornography is not only defined as photography, but also as drawing or visual representation,” Wall said. He added that Canada’s Criminal Code defines child pornography as any visual depiction showing a child under the age of 18 engaging in sexually explicit activity, or in which the dominant feature is the depiction of a sexual organ or anal region of a person under the age of 18.

“Don’t any of the pictures in front of you fit the description of child pornography?” he asked the council. “They do,” he said.

All Boys Aren’t Blue, a non-fiction book written by an LGBT activist, was another book up for discussion at the council meeting. Wall said the book contained “very graphic and sexualized content” that was written for teenagers, with the voice of a 10-year-old boy narrating the story.

In one scene, the book describes the author being molested by a male relative who is a few years his senior. The book was banned from schools and libraries in several US states due to pressure from concerned parents that the book was explicit and obscene.

According to Wall, nearly a thousand people have signed a petition to keep sexually explicit children’s books out of public libraries, which he says are funded with over $1 million in taxpayers’ dollars. The group has asked councilors to withhold funding until the books are removed.

Other speakers also introduced themselves to the Council. One mother, Christine, said her son picked up the book It’s Perfectly Normal.

She said she saw the pictures in the book. “They won’t even print these pictures, the newspapers can’t print the pictures. Why not? They’re safe for children, aren’t they?”

She said parents cannot currently trust libraries.

Another mother with four children agreed. She told the council that she could no longer send her children to the library alone.

She said both of her girls needed less discussion about more mature sexual topics. “You’re taking away their childhood. It is not healthy.”

Cathy Ching, director of library services at South Regional Library, told CTV News the books “teach about sexuality and body image” and are “needed by our parents and children.”

Winkler Mayor Henry Siemens thanked parents for the presentation and said the council would provide a formal response next year after further research.

Marnie Cathcart


Marnie Cathcart is an Edmonton-based reporter.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *