Florida School Board Member Calls Deputies Over Black Queer Memoir

High angle view of a young boy reading a book in a library

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A school board member in Florida has reportedly filed a criminal complaint to law enforcement over a young adult memoir about Black queer boys.

Jill Woolbright, who is on the Flagler County School Board, reportedly filed a report with the county sheriff's office last week. In the report obtained by CNN, she claims All Boys Aren't Blue: A Memoir-Manifesto by George M. Johnson violates state obscenity laws.

The memoir is Johnson's debut title, which focuses on them growing up as a Black, queer and non-binary person in New Jersey and Virginia. Johnson uses they-them pronouns.

"From the memories of getting his teeth kicked out by bullies at age five, to flea marketing with his loving grandmother, to his first sexual relationships, this young-adult memoir weaves together the trials and triumphs faced by Black queer boys," a synopsis from Macmillan reads.

Woolbright wants the person responsible for putting the memoir in school libraries to "be held accountable," the report says. A spokesperson for the Flagler County Sheriff's Office has confirmed they're reviewing the complaint to see if it warrants charges.

CNN also learned All Boys Aren't Blue has been pulled from school libraries pending an investigation. Students, parents, and community members protested outside FCSB officers during their Tuesday (November 16) meeting.

Cheryl Massaro, another board member, called out Woolbright for "crossing the line" with the complaint. She also emphasized that Woolbright doesn't speak on behalf of the entire school board and backed the memoir.

"Let me make this abundantly clear - I do not support censorship of these highly acclaimed and award-winning teen books!" Massaro says. "The beauty of books lies within the eyes of the beholder."

Data from the U.S. Census Bureau says only 11% of Flagler County residents are Black, while 83% are white.

All Boys Aren't Blue was released in 2020 and named "Amazon Best Book of the Year." Johnson is reportedly working with Gabrielle Union's production company to develop the book into a TV series, CNN added.

The author told reporters that they weren't surprised that their book is being challenged.

"Removing books from them doesn't stop them from having those same experiences. It just stops them from being able to know what to do when those experiences happen to them," Johnson said.

CNN has reached out to Woolbright for comment, but she hasn't returned the request at the time of publication.

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