UNION — A group of women brought multiple concerns to the RSU 40 Board of Directors Oct. 7 including what they called “sex books” in the library.

The group said the district was allowing students to access inappropriate books in school libraries, and said the board’s COVID-19 policies were harming children.

Karen Wellman, a Waldoboro resident who ran for the board in June 2021, said she had heard rumors of what she described as “sex books” in a school library.

Board chair Danny Jackson told Wellman the district had policies for both selecting and challenging materials in the district.

The procedure for lodging a complaint about materials is covered in district policy on the RSU 40 website. One has to go to “administration” and then district policies under “instruction.” It is listed under policy IJJ on page 4.

The complaint must first be heard by the person providing the materials in question.

If the complaint is not resolved at that level, it moves to the building principal and then to the superintendent. The superintendent appoints a committee of five people to review the material and prepare a report.

Another member of the group said she was concerned that students would have access to the material while the committee was reviewing the complaint.

Superintendent Steve Nolan said the district would not remove the books while a review was being made, though he understood the concerns of the group.

Nolan said he balanced their concerns with the idea of censoring material. “As it stands, we go through a review process,” he added.

Members of the group also said mask policies were harming children in the district, and asked about a state training for administrators on LGBTQ identities.

Wellman initially agreed to an interview the day after the board meeting, then later changed her mind. “I’m not interested,” she wrote in a message Sunday, Oct. 11. “Some people have told me your (sic) a Liberal newspaper and they like to twist words around.”

The two books, which Wellman identified as “Lawn Boy” by Jonathan Evison and “Gender Queer” by Maia Kobabe, are available to be checked out in the Medomak Valley High School library.

These books are the subject of complaints in other states as well from adults who claim the books promote pedophilia and are pornographic.

Both books deal with LGBTQ themes. “Lawn Boy” is a coming-of-age story about a Mexican man struggling with poverty and his sexuality. In “Gender Queer” the author talks about life as someone who is non-binary.