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Michigan book fair rejects ban on gay character: ‘If you’re not fine with it don’t buy the book’

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Children's book character 'Captain Underpants' (WXMI/screen grab)

A Michigan school district said this week that it would not ban a book with a gay character after another school district in the state removed it from book fair shelves.

Late last month, Monroe Public Schools said that it had removed “Captain Underpants and the Sensational Sag of Sir Stinks-A-Lot” over one page which reveals that one of the main characters is gay.

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“In this case, we felt it was necessary that if this book was going to be purchased, the parent needed to be involved in that,” Monroe Public Schools Dr. Barry Martin said at the time.

This week, Rockford Public Schools announced that it was taking a different approach.

Rockford Superintendent Michael Shibler explained to WXMI that he had preemptively sent a letter notifying parents that the book would not be banned.

“My only goal right now is to be completely transparent with parents,” Shibler insisted. “I do know there are some people that would find that inappropriate for their child to read so let the parent make that decision.”

“You need to be aware of the issue on this one page. If you’re fine with it, buy the book. If you’re not, don’t buy the book.”

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“I’m not trying to pass judgement on anything, I’m just trying to inform you as a parent, you make the decision whether you want to buy this book at the book fair for your child.”

Watch the video below from WXMI, broadcast Nov. 11, 2015.

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