PHS Library Pulls Two Books From Shelves


Hayden Gust

Missouri Senate Bill 775 aims to eliminate pornographic and explicit content in schools.

Hayden Gust, Staff Writer

Pattonville’s library pulled two books from their shelves at the beginning of the school year. Fun Home by Alison Bechdel, and the graphic novel version of The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Attwood were pulled from the library before students returned to school. This is the result of a bill that passed in Missouri in August 2022. Missouri Senate Bill 775 makes it a misdemeanor to allow any books with explicit sexual content in schools.

Specifically, the bill states that “a person commits the offense of providing explicit sexual material to a student if such person is affiliated with a public or private elementary or secondary school in an official capacity and, knowing of its content and character, such person provides, assigns, supplies, distributes, loans, or coerces acceptance of or the approval of the providing of explicit sexual material to a student or possesses with the purpose of providing, assigning, supplying, distributing, loaning, or coercing acceptance of or the approval of the providing of explicit sexual material to a student.”

However, the bill doesn’t specify what is considered graphic content.

Librarian Kimberly Stinnett said that “explicit graphic content is a subjective term.”

The bill will not have any effect on any other books and movies the library has to offer.

“The PHS librarians are against censorship and will continue to have books and movies that are of literary value and support our diverse student population,” Stinnett said.

The library pulled these books in response to the bill and from the request of the administration.

“PSD Administration and the librarians are always focused on what is best for our stakeholders, including students, staff, and parents,” Stinnett said.

This bill affects readers who have both read and not read these books.

“I think it’s horrible that they are already pulling books,” sophomore Addison Gutschenritter said. “I’m not too worried about it happening here but I have seen it in other places, such as schools pulling LGBTQ books. Books are supposed to be something I can escape too.”

However, there are alternative means to access these books.

“Luckily in St. Louis County, residents, such as our students, can access these two pieces of literature through other channels, such as the public libraries, where there is less censorship,” Stinnett said.

The St. Louis County Library offers these and other books banned by SB 775. View how to access these books here.