Father files complaint with Columbus School District about book

(NBC15)
Published: Feb. 27, 2020 at 9:52 PM CST
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Nate Pollnow says his 6-year-old daughter came home with a library book he doesn't think she should have access to at Columbus Elementary School.

In the beginning of January, Pollnow's daughter checked out the book "10,000 Dresses," by Marcus Ewert. The book is about a little boy that wants to wear dresses. The children's book addresses gender identity.

NBC15 has spoke with the author of the book that says the story is about a transgender girl, that family persists is a boy. Female pronouns are used throughout the story to describe the character.

"It's not about sexuality. This is about appropriateness for the age," Pollnow said.

Pollnow reported his complaint with the district on January 20th asking for the book to be removed. He doesn't think it is appropriate for children ages 4-8 to be reading without the school consulting parents first. He fiercely says he is not against the LGBTQ community. Pollnow wants to choose to have mature conversations with his children, not having them brought on by the school.

"If you want to tell your kids at five about that, that's fine. That is your business. We don't need the school doing that for us," Pollnow said.

NBC15 reached out to the Columbus School District first leaving a message on Tuesday. The superintendent returned the call and left a message the same day. On Wednesday, NBC15 called again to ask for an interview and couldn't reach the superintendent. Also, went to the Elementary School. On Thursday, NBC15 finally made contact with the superintendent and learned they are following standard complaint policy procedure by having their school meetings open to the public.

The Columbus School District invites community members to their meeting on Friday at 3:30 p.m. at Columbus Middle School. People will not be able to give comments during the meeting, according to policy.

Pollnow says he isn't alone with the concerns about the book. He is hoping the district comes to their decision within the next month.

The book, “10,000 Dresses,” was among the first children books to discuss gender identity, published in 2008. It’s been read across the world, Ewert said. He added that it also has been challenged by other parents, one most recent case in Texas.