At a school board meeting in Orange County, Florida, a speaker was ejected from the meeting after he read aloud several passages from a sexually graphic novel that is available in the district’s public libraries, as reported by Fox News.
The man in question, Jacob Engels, took to the podium at a meeting of the Orange County Public Schools (OCPS) to read aloud several passages from the book “Gender Queer: A Memoir,” which was available in multiple libraries in the district. Engels pointed out that although the book “has been banned from many other schools,” it had been “floating around in your schools” in recent months.
Engels also identified himself as “a member of the LGBT community,” but nonetheless described the book’s presence in public school libraries as “concerning,” especially considering that it was being aimed at “children as young as ninth grade.”
But once he began reading the sexually explicit portions, Chairwoman Teresa Jacobs ordered police officers to “remove him from the chambers,” declaring him to be “out of order.”
After Engels was removed, Jacobs defended her conduct by stating that “the language he just read is inappropriate for this forum.” However, she claimed ignorance to the presence of the book, saying “this is the first time I’ve heard of this and the board has heard of this. We will look into it, and I do hope the book is removed…I can guarantee you, I did not know that book was in the library.”
The incident was captured on video by a mother named Alicia Farrant, a member of the Orange County chapter of the group Moms for Liberty, which has gained traction nationwide in recent months as a result of the rising trend of parents protesting at school board meetings. Chief among the causes of these protests are increasingly sexualized material being taught to children, often in the name of “diversity” or promoting the “LGBTQ” agenda, as well as pro-“transgender” policies that allow students to identify as whichever gender they choose, and subsequently use restrooms and locker rooms of their choice.
Following the incident, the school board announced that after “four copies of the book ‘Gender Queer’” were discovered “in three of our 22 high schools,” the book had been removed from all libraries and was “under review.”
“If anyone has a concern about materials or books found in our media centers or in our classrooms,” said OCPS Director of Media Relations Shari Bobinski in a statement, “Orange County Public Schools has a process in place for parents or guardians to submit a form to the school principal to address a concern.”