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B.C. Conservative wants young adult fiction book with 'explicit' language removed from local schools

A Conservative MLA from B.C.'s Fraser Valley called on the province Wednesday to remove the young adult fiction book Eleanor and Park from public school libraries in his riding.

Abbotsford-South representative Bruce Banman described some of the language in the book as "sexually explicit," and argued that including Eleanor and Park in school libraries could allow children as young as 11 to access the material.

The B.C. NDP government has noted the book is only recommended for students in Grade 11, and not for anyone under the age of 16. Banman provided CTV News a list of eight schools he claims carry the book in their libraries. Five out of the eight are high schools.

During question period, Banman told members of the chamber to brace themselves before he read a passage from the book that contained graphic language.

Almost immediately, the Speaker interjected, telling Banman he couldn’t use that kind of language. Banman promptly apologized and retracted his words.

CTV News interviewed Banman following question period to clarify whether he wanted the book banned. The MLA responded, “Well, I said it was inappropriate for kids that were age 11, is what I said, and the words that are used in that book – it’s common sense that I don’t see the educational value in the words that are used in that book."

Education Minister Rachna Singh responded to Banman's concerns during question period, stressing that the resources in B.C.’s public schools are age appropriate.

She subsequently issued a statement, writing: “From denying climate change to targeting kids, the B.C. Conservatives are spreading misinformation meant to divide people and target the most vulnerable."

"Whether it’s bullying kids or banning books, Premier David Eby has made it clear that our government won’t get dragged into these divisive debates only meant to spread fear or anger," Singh said. Top Stories

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