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Controversy over LGBTQ library books in Poway Unified

District confirms it has pulled two books from libraries for review.

SAN DIEGO — A controversy over books in Poway Unified School District libraries. 

Some parents are pushing to ban certain LGBTQ books from school libraries while retired educators and other parents are fighting that effort.

PUSD confirms two LGBTQ books have been taken out of the high school libraries to be reviewed by district staff.

Retired librarians held signs outside of Thursday's school board meeting. One read "Books Unite Us Censorship Divides Us."

"Limiting young people's access to books does not protect them from life's complex and challenging issues," said Tomboc-Brownlie Cheri, a teacher and librarian at Westview Highschool.

While parents hoping to ban some books had their own signs. One read "adult graphic novel" next to, Gender Queer, one of the books currently under review.

"Parents this has nothing to do with a physical book. What I just read to you is about the message being shared in that form," said parent, Rachelle Babler.

Babler told CBS 8 last month that she has a list of 100 other books that should also be removed. Student Elise Matthews shared what she thinks of removing books from her school libraries.

"If you don't like what someone else is reading, you can say good for you, it's not for me instead of taking away a book they like," Matthews said.

Librarian Tomboc-Brownlie Cheri said she reads book reviews and gets student and teacher input before adding books to the library.

"Parents have the right to guide their child's reading but parents should not be making decisions for other parent's children and young people deserve to see themselves reflected in their school library books," said Tomboc-Brownlie. 

The district said students aren't required to check out books from the school library, however, it does serve as a resource for all students. 

PUSD says it will never remove a book without followings its review policies.

WATCH RELATED: LGBT books under review by Poway Unified, educators and librarians speak out (September 2022)

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