Greenlawn school board meeting draws police presence as some parents demand 2 LGBTQ books be pulled from library
A school board meeting Thursday night in Greenlawn drew a police presence due to the possibility of friction caused by parents who are concerned that the content of two books in the Elwood Union Free School District are too graphic for their kids.
At least 25 Suffolk police cars were parked along the sidewalk of Elwood Middle School as a precaution because previous school board meetings that discussed LGBTQ topics at Suffolk schools have gotten heated.
Just a week ago, protests took place regarding a lawsuit claiming that a teacher forced a fifth-grade girl to use male pronouns in the Brookhaven-Comsewogue Union School District.
Only agenda items were discussed at the beginning of Thursday's meeting, but at the end of the meeting, parents expressed their concerns about two LGBTQ books that are at the library.
One of the books, "Flamer," is a comic novel about LGBTQ representation. The other entitled "George" is a book about a young transgender student coming to terms with gender identity.
Over 75 members of the Elwood school community signed an online petition to ban both books, saying they are inappropriate and display sexual content.
Others, however, say the books display the reality of what LGBTQ students go through and removing them is not an option.
"We can't keep this bullying in the closet, you can't keep LGBTQ in the closet," said president of LGBT Network Dr. David Kilmnick. "Reading about this won't make anyone LGBTQ - I thought we were way past that. What it will do is open up the eyes and see that we need to treat people fairly and equally."