LGBTQ+ books in Collier public school libraries will now have advisory labels


COLLIER COUNTY, Fla. — 115 books located inside public school libraries in Collier County will now have advisory labels attached to them.

Collier County Public Schools placed advisory notices around February and March following the recently passed Parents’ Bill of Rights Law (Florida House Bill 241).

These books where chosen based on which parents and community members had expressed concern over, per CCPS.

Photo of Notice

“Our school district is mindful of and concerned with protecting the rights of all students and employees,” said CCPS.  They also noted that no books have been removed from any media centers.

The majority of the books showcase a number of different LGBTQ identities, including gay, lesbian and transgender youth. Others include novels by African American authors and others of color.

The Collier County Public School District created an independent committee in search of these specific books.

“The Committee does not involve itself with decisions pertaining to the Advisory Notices.  The Committee reviews specific books objected to and makes recommendations accordingly.  Actions put into place prior to Administrative Procedure, including the placement of Advisory Notices, are subject to on-going review,” Collier County Public Schools said in a statement provided to NBC2.

We were able to gather reactions from a number of groups about the warning labels:

“Get your facts straight. Do your own research. Look at these books and see for yourself they are more than just LGBTQ focused. Hey if you don’t want your kids to read it, fine, but how about all these other kids whose parents want them to learn all these things,” said Nicki Brock, a board member at the Naples Pride Center. 

The Naples Pride Center hosts a number of daily and weekly resources for the LGBTQ+ community, including support and youth groups. 

“A lot of these groups that are protesting this … are trying to put the LGBTQ community in a bad light. And really kick us out of the community. Its really unfortunate to see,” said Brock, who added she is concerned this is the first step towards complete censorship. 

Florida Citizens Alliance, a grassroots political group concentrated in Collier County, feels differently. The group is excited about the warning label and hopes it is indeed a catalyst for future censorship. 

“Inappropriate material targeted towards minors. Sexually explicit however that may be, targeted towards minors. These are actually criminal offenses and our goal and our hope is that you would remove the danger from our kids,” said Moise Stael Dantes, the group’s campaign manager.

We also reached out to Lee and Charlotte County to see if they had any plans to include advisory labels in their content. 

Charlotte County did not respond to our inquiry. 

A spokesperson for Lee County schools told us that they have no plans on adding any advisory labels to their public schools. They have a new program in place that lets parents restrict their own child’s access to a specific book if they so choose. 

This is an ongoing story. Count on us for further information as it comes into our newsroom. 

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