Name: Holt Health, Garrettsville, OH

Date:  1985 - 1995

Location:  North America

SubjectSexual/Gender Orientation


Artist: Holt, Rinehart & Winston Publishing

Confronting Bodies: James A. Garfield School Board of Education, parents

Date of Action: August 1993

Specific Location: Garrettsville, Ohio

Description of Artwork: The Holt Health textbook for tenth grade students.

Description of Incident: A tenth grade health text book some parents say condones homosexuality will be reviewed by a parent committee proposed by the James A. Garfield Board of Education. Garfield officials agreed to form the committee after several parents, a local minister, and one board member protested the text book, Holt Health. Rev. Peter King read a letter to the board urging them to reconsider their approval of the book. He said there was a growing exodus of students into parochial schools because of the teaching of values symbolized by the textbook. The controversy centers on three paragraphs that say it is not unusual for adolescents to have sexual feelings for those of the same sex and even act on those feelings but be heterosexual as adults. Citing recent research, the book also explains that homosexuality is determined at birth rather than as a lifestyle that is chosen.

Results of Incident: Parents also expressed dismay over a sex survey, distributed in a tenth grade health class last spring, that asked questions concerning anal sex, homosexuality, and masturbation. Board president James Dennedy said the survey was distributed by a teacher without the board's knowledge.

Source: Office for Intellectual Freedom, American Library Association

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