Iowa City Community School District to remove controversial book following bomb threats

In an email to parents Thursday, the district superintendent said the book “This Book is Gay” would be removed temporarily while the district reviews the book.


Grace Kreber

The Iowa City Community School District sign in Iowa City is seen on Tuesday, Sept. 13, 2022.

Alejandro Rojas, News Reporter

The Iowa City Community School District  removed “This Book is Gay” off of library shelves after Northwest Junior High School received multiple bomb threats last week.

In an email sent on Thursday, district Superintendent Matt Degner said that the bomb threats appeared to be part of a nationwide effort to bring attention to the book.

“Specific to our district, this book has been temporarily removed from our library system and is currently undergoing the book reconsideration process as outlined in board policy,” Denger wrote.

Under the reconsideration process, the district will convene a committee to evaluate the educational use of the book. The committee will be made up of eight people, with one licensed employee from the district, a teacher-librarian, a member of the administrative team, three members of the community, and two high school students.

According to a webpage about the reconsideration process, the committee will not remove the book or limit its educational use. It will solely evaluate the appropriateness of the book for educational use.

“This Book is Gay” is by British author Juno Dawson that explores LGBTQ+ experiences. According to the American Library Association, which tracks banned books and book challenges across the U.S., it was the ninth most challenged book in 2021.

The book’s removal in Iowa City schools comes after a number of districts in other places also banned it. A school district in Florida voted to remove the book on Tuesday because its board members believed it was too inappropriate for children.