MENOMONEE FALLS, Wis. — “The Perks of Being a Wallflower” by Stephen Chbosky and “Sold” by Patricia McCormick are two out of 33 books Menomonee Falls School Board banned from the district.

What You Need To Know

  • Menomonee Falls School District has banned 33 books from library 

  • The books are not compliant  with the sexually explicit content and profanity guidelines

  • Former student William Gottemoller said this takes opportunties away from students 

  • View the list of banned books, here

A statement provided by the school district said the 33 books do not comply with the sexually explicit content and profanity guidelines that were approved by the school board in April. 

William Gottemoller recently graduated from Menomonee Falls and is currently studying at Harvard University. He said the district is taking away opportunities from the students by removing the titles. 

“Those novels — especially ‘The Handmaid’s Tale,’ ‘Slaughter House Five’ and ‘The Bluest Eye’ — the point is to provoke you,” said Gottemoller. “They’re not supposed to be clean and sugary so that your opinions can be reinforced. They’re trying to show you a different way of looking at the world.” 

Gottemoller is a part of a local activist group called Grassroots Menomonee Falls. The group will attend the school board meeting on Monday evening to try to find a solution to the book ban that benefits students in the district. 

“Literature is not meant to be clean,” said Gottemoller. “It’s meant to be ugly. It’s meant to provoke you. It’s supposed to challenge you. Your opinions are meant to be challenged.” 

The director of the Menomonee Falls Public Library and the director said the majority of the banned books have been checked out of their library in the last week.  

The Menomonee Falls School District released the following statement:

“This past April the district approved Policy and Procedure 365: Library Media Material Selection, which governs library materials. This policy has guidelines based on age and grade. 

“Policy and Procedure 365 sets a standard for content in the materials available in the District’s school libraries. The policy and procedure set guidelines based on age/grade appropriateness with specific focus on limiting or excluding materials with sexual content and profanity. These guidelines were in the previous versions of the policy and procedure and should have been adhered to prior to the revisions made in April of 2023. These 33 books had been identified prior to the completion of the new policies and procedures. They were not in compliance with the sexually explicit content and/or profanity guidelines in the original version or the revised version. They will be removed by the end of the week for failing to meet the established guidelines.”

The following books are being removed: 

Correction: The previous version of this article stated the school board meeting would be held Wednesday. It is being held Monday. (Oct. 23, 2023)