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5 library books in Virginia Beach schools under review

Dozens of parents and students in Virginia Beach are divided on whether to keep certain books in school libraries.

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. — Virginia Beach City Public Schools administrators have received complaints about several books with stories about people of color, civil rights and the LGBTQ community.

Five books, in total, are now undergoing further review.

  • "The Bluest Eye"
  • "A Lesson Before Dying" 
  • "Beyond Magenta" 
  • "Good Trouble: Lesson from the Civil Rights Playbook" 
  • "Lawn Boy"

Some people express concern about sexual or explicit content within some of the books.

Others argue that the stories add to intellectual discourse and empower diversity.

City Attorney for Public Education Kamala Hallgren Lannetti reminded division leaders Tuesday evening on how the First Amendment plays a role here.

"The United States Supreme Court made it clear that a student has the right to pursue certain information and review with academic freedom. It may not be necessarily within our rights to remove that," said Lannetti. 

Administrators explained to the school board in a workshop Tuesday that library materials undergo a vetting process through two sources called Mackin and the Junior Library Guild. 

Library media are meant to "support the instructional program and student interest," according to a presentation slide shown Tuesday. 

A special committee will evaluate each book in question and make recommendations.

It's unclear exactly when they'll make their decisions.