Clean sweep: Books saved!
On Jan. 25, 2022, the Board voted on five resolutions based on a report from its Reconsideration Committee, which recommended retaining All Boys Aren't Blue, Fun Home, Gender Queer, and Lawn Boy but banning This Book is Gay.
During about an hour of public comment, 55 people entered the virtual waiting room to speak to the Board; only 14 were permitted to do so. Other than one commenter who inquired about the scope of the This Book is Gay resolution, all community members expressed opposition to banning the book.
Following public comment, the Board began a fractious voting session, during which repeated abstentions from Board members Shelley Crisologo, Tara Hintz, and Kimberly Solino generated complaints about the insufficient, incomplete, and poorly prepared report from the Reconsideration Committee. In the end, the board rejected the Reconsideration Committee's recommendation to ban This Book is Gay, voting to retain it and the other four titles.
Kirchberger sets the bar
In casting his vote to retain This Book is Gay, Board member Rob Kirchberger said, "I think the bar for removing books from any library should be very high ... Both from the report that was given from the committee and from my own personal reading of this book, I think it falls woefully short of that high bar for removal ... it's not even close."
STRAIGHT BANS "GAY": Roger Straight (Clinton Twp, Lebanon Boro) rests before voting to ban This Book is Gay
HINTZ WON'T VOTE: Tara Hintz (High Bridge Boro, Lebanon Twp) explains her multiple Abstain votes on First Amendment protections for intellectual freedom. The document she cited states, "abstention is actually not a vote at all."
KIRCHBERGER TAKES A STAND: Preparing to stand up for students' right to read, Rob Kirchberger (Clinton Twp, Lebanon Boro) schools the Board on setting a "very high bar" before removing books from a library. This Book is Gay "isn't even in the ballpark," he said.
How they voted
This scorecard shows each Board member's vote on the resolutions. .
EveryLibrary.org: A win against censorship North Hunterdon-Voorhees NJ School District
NJ.com: NJ high school board votes against recommendation to ban LGBTQ+ book
MyCentralJersey.com: LGBTQ books will remain in North Hunterdon, Voorhees school libraries
Insider NJ: Hunterdon County-451 averted
Hunterdon Review: North Hunterdon-Voorhees BOE votes note to ban library books despite public, board dissent