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Hundreds of Dearborn residents address controversial books

DEARBORN, Mich. (CBS DETROIT) - "First and foremost I urge this board to clearly outline that sexually explicit content will be removed permanently," said one Dearborn resident. 

Parents, teachers and members of the LGBTQ community voiced their concern about several controversial books that were temporarily banned by school administrators in Dearborn. 

Several hundred attendees sat and waited for their turn to comment in a packed auditorium inside Stout Middle School in Dearborn. The usual site for the school board meetings was deemed too small after the fire marshal shut it down citing capacity concerns a week prior. Therefore, the public comment was canceled, but then resumed on Thursday. 

"A lot of people said the same thing... this is not anti-LGBTQ, this is not anti any community or any groups," said another parent during public comment. 

A comment parents often repeated was that they had no issue with the LGBTQ community and said the issue was directed specifically about the sexually explicit content found inside six books, including one named "This Book is Gay." 

However, members of the LGBTQ community still felt the book banning was directed at them. 

"This is not a debate about books, it's a debate about culture," an LGBTQ supporter said. 

"Banning LGBTQ books isn't going to stop anyone from being gay," said another. 

The Dearborn school board has agreed the six books in question should be better categorized so that they meet the author's recommended age, but some parents believe they have no place in the school district for any students. 

"Does anybody need a college education or a Ph.D to know these books aren't appropriate for kids," another parent asked. 

Parents handed out a two-paged resolution at the meeting that said they want more control over how books are vetted and brought into school media center and library. Those parents are asking the School Board to adopt that resolution at the next meeting in November. 

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