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Books about LGBTQ issues will be part of Kalamazoo schools' reading program

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Kalamazoo Public Schools is reversing a controversial decision to leave books with LGBTQ and some other themes out of a book program. The district is also apologizing for a statement that caused a public outcry. 

Earlier this month, a couple of parents complained to the school board. They’d heard that an effort to diversify KPS elementary classroom libraries would not include books with an LGBTQ focus. KPS confirmed that on Tuesday in a statement to WMUK. The district said the present program was focused only on racial and ethnic diversity, and would also leave out themes of disability and economic status. The letter quickly drew condemnation from some parents, teachers, students and community members. At a packed school board meeting Thursday, the board made it clear that it was changing course. President Patti Sholler-Barber said the first statement was, “poorly worded.”

"On behalf of the Board of Education, I sincerely apologize. Heartfelt. Let me emphasize that. We sincerely apologize."

Roughly two dozen people told the Board they supported a more inclusive program.