A radio show host has said LGBT-themed books are “raping the innocence of our children,” after the California Department of Education updated its ‘Recommended Literature List’ to include works honoured by Stonewall.
American Family Radio show host Sandy Rios has labelled the list of titles “appalling.”
“It’s a frightening trend,” Rios said in an interview. “The reading lists are very overtly propagating a point of view that is at odds with most American parents.
“Leftist educators are advocates of everything from socialism to sexual anarchy. It’s very base; it’s raping the innocence of our children.”
Last month she said LGBT inclusivity in schools to blame for falling grade averages: “It’s sad; it’s just amazing how they are throwing—whether they are teaching radical environmentalism or homosexuality. Can you imagine that they are teaching this instead of math and science? And they are.”
Although California’s list has addressed controversial topics before this is the first time it included works that were honoured by the Stonewall Book Awards.
The Stonewall Book Awards have been given out since 1971 to recognize contributions to LGBT literature.
“We have titles in the list for the LGBT community for multiple recommended grade levels,” said Roxane Fidler, the Department of Education’s programs consultant in California. “There are books from the Stonewall Book Awards, which has not previously been on the list.”
Fidler added that the online catalog, Recommended Literature: Pre-Kindergarten Through Grade Twelve, contains more than 7,800 books with the aim of preparing students for college and a career and the changing world. She explained that some of the newer titles were published in 2012 and therefore include today’s cultural and civil rights challenges.
She added that the works are not mandatory reading and were chosen based on quality not ideology.
State officials say the list has included gay and lesbian titles for nearly 20 years. However, the list also includes the first-ever recommended title with a transgender theme.
Titled “I Am J,” the young adult novel is about a teen, Jennifer, who identifies and sees herself as a boy.
There are “no controversial books,” Fidler concluded, adding that the teachers, librarians, administrators, curriculum planners and college professors who curated the list did not have difficulty deciding if well-written books should be included.