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Stateside Podcast: LGBTQ-positive books incite Dearborn debate

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Tracy Samilton
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Michigan Radio
A Dearborn Public Schools board meeting Monday never quite got to the public comment period, as members of the public who came to voice concerns about the district's policy on reviewing books for appropriateness derailed the agenda.

Community members within the Dearborn Public School District have been in heated debate over several LGBTQ-positive books and their availability to students. The debate in Dearborn came to a head at a school board meeting this week.

It’s not the first time a religious, conservative group has opposed the availability of books that include LGBTQ-positive stories and sentiments.

However, unlike we’ve seen before, many of those religious conservatives are Muslim. It's the first time someone other than Evangelicals and far-right constituents have been a sizeable force in the protests at the school board.

Reporter Niraj Warikoo provided some context on this multifaceted issue. We also heard from someone who's taken a stand in favor of age-appropriate, LGBTQ-positive books.

GUESTS:

  • Niraj Warikoo, religion reporter, Detroit Free Press
  • Jackson Wagner, member of Dearborn Adults for Inclusive Schools

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Music in this episode by Blue Dot Sessions.

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Ronia Cabansag is a producer for Stateside. She comes to Michigan Radio from Eastern Michigan University, where she earned a BS in Media Studies & Journalism and English Linguistics with a minor in Computer Science.