Ottawa

Catholic school board changes mind, allows book depicting 2 boys kissing back in libraries

Ottawa's English Catholic school board has changed its mind and will put a graphic novel, which has a side story about two boys who are attracted to each other, back on its elementary school library shelves.

Drama by American author Raina Telgemeier includes side story on same-sex relationships

The graphic novel Drama by Raina Telgemeier features an onstage kiss between two male characters. (Raina Telgemeier)

Ottawa's English Catholic school board has changed its mind and will put a graphic novel, which has a side story about two boys who are attracted to each other, back on its elementary school library shelves.

Drama, the 2012 graphic novel by American author and illustrator Raina Telgemeier, is about a student who wants to be part of her middle-school theatre production. The side story about same-sex relationships also includes the two boys sharing an onstage kiss.

CBC News obtained emails from officials at the Ottawa Catholic School Board saying the book was being removed from elementary school libraries because it wasn't appropriate for students of that age. The book, however, was still being allowed for intermediate and high school grades (7-12).

The author, local politicians and parents criticized the book's removal from elementary school libraries after the story was published on Tuesday.

On Wednesday, the school board said it will allow it back on elementary school library shelves.

"The Ottawa Catholic School Board has listened to educators, parents, stakeholders & ratepayers," said spokesperson Mardi de Kemp in an email.

"We remain fully committed to having safe, inclusive, and accepting schools."

She pointed to the publisher's classification of the book as appropriate for children age 10 and up.

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