TURNER — Two school administrators and a librarian unanimously agreed to remove a graphic novel detailing sex-related topics from the Leavitt Area High School library earlier this month, according to Maine School Administrative District 52 Superintendent Cari Medd.

The cover of “Let’s Talk About It,” a 2021 graphic novel that seeks to educate teens about sex and relationships.

“Let’s Talk About It: The Teen’s Guide to Sex, Relationships, and Being a Human” is a 2021 graphic novel written by Erika Moen and Matthew Nolan. The book covers topics likes consent, body image, safe sex and gender/sexual identity with a frank, sex positive tone, but also shares advice on masturbation, kinks, sexting and porn.

Medd said she received concerned emails about the contents of the book from director Kyle Purington of Greene and parent Jimmy Childs of Leeds in late March. Following a review by Medd, high school Principal Eben Shaw and high school librarian Judith Lashman, the book was removed.

They determined that the book did not meet the district’s selection of educational materials standards, Medd said, adding that some of the images and guidance within the book was not appropriate for high school students, particularly in the younger grades.

Members of the MSAD 52 board of directors were notified of the decision April 5, and Medd shared the decision with the public at the board meeting the next day.

Purington said the issue was brought to him by a parent with “deep concerns” about the graphic photos. Images from the book have spread among the community, and many other parents have expressed similar views, he said.


Had administrators not decided to remove the book, someone would have initiated a book challenge, he said. Rather than wait for the challenge, he asked Medd to conduct an internal review, a cheaper and more time-effective option.

The process was smooth, Purington said, taking just two weeks to complete. He said that the district is “doing (its) due diligence” to review concerning books, but emphasized that the process would take time.

He said the district’s current selection of education materials policy is “not 100%” and said he thinks MSAD 52 — and other school districts across the country — need to find a new way to evaluate books.

Several weeks ago, the board of directors unanimously voted to review the policy.

Many of the books that parents have expressed concerns about shouldn’t be in schools, Purington said, adding that he believes it’s a good thing parents have become more involved.

Childs said he found the book’s promotion of pornography and “sticking things up your bum” to be inappropriate, among other parts.


“There’s nothing wrong with enjoying some porn; it’s a fun sugary treat!” the books states following a discussion about the unrealistic expectations pornographic videos may promote.

“Watching porn uncritically can leave you with unrealistic expectations about what to do in the bedroom, so do yourself a favor and consume it with a hefty pinch of salt,” it reads.

Another section of the book advises which objects can and should not be inserted inside someone’s anus.

Childs said he feels the district’s review process isn’t working and that books are “slipping through the cracks.” If the book had been reviewed properly, it “would never have made it through the doors,” he said.

Medd said that the policy for library material selection was followed when the book was purchased.

“Several external book reviews were consulted as the policy dictates,” she said. “Ultimately we decided that the book was not appropriate for the range of maturity levels of the high school students population.”

The publisher, Random House Graphic, rates the book for a high school audience, specifically teenagers age 14-17 years old.

At least 19 public libraries in Maine have the book, according to Minerva, an online catalog system. Of those libraries, 14 specifically state that the book is shelved in a teen-designated section.

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