May 17, 2022

Report: Harrisburg, Oregon School District ‘Disregarded Policies’ in Denying Access to Book About Transgender Child

From The Register-Guard:

The Harrisburg School District may have violated the state’s anti-discrimination law and rules this fall after limiting access to a book that told the story of a transgender fourth-grader, the Oregon Department of Education has found.

Jennifer Smid, a parent in the district, filed a complaint with the state after she discovered the school district would not make the book “George” available in its elementary school library, according to a final letter from Mark Mayer, the department’s complaint and appeals coordinator.


Since it was first published in 2015, “George” has gained praise for its inclusiveness. But as the book made its way to school library shelves the past few years, it also has faced backlash from families regarding its content. The issue was raised as recently as this week when a school in Kalamazoo, Michigan, pulled the book from its list focused on “diversity” after receiving complaints from parents.

According to the letter outlining the Oregon education department’s investigation, the issue in Harrisburg arose in February 2018 when Smid discovered that the district would not make the book available in its library for students to read for the Oregon Battle of the Books reading competition.

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See Also: Michigan: Parents Urge Kalamazoo Schools to Add Books on LGBTQ Topics to Elementary School Initiative (via MLive)

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.