TAMPA, FLORIDA — Eleven-year-old students in Hillsborough County Schools can access pornographic books in their library, according to the District’s online catalog.
Flamer – a novel that discusses masturbation, watching pornography and features graphic depictions of sexual acts – is available in three middle schools (Barrington, Burnette, Giunta, Shields) and currently checked out at two others (Coleman, Mann) in Hillsborough County Public Schools (HCPS).
The book includes graphic illustrations that depict naked teenage boys and discusses pornography, erections, masturbation and penis size. Libs of TikTok shared pictures of pages from the book alongside screenshots from the District’s virtual library catalog that revealed it was in multiple middle school libraries.
Hillsborough County Schools did not immediately return a request for comment.
Days prior, the popular account shared a similar post revealing that the book was also available in Falcon Cove Middle School in Broward County. Broward County Schools pulled the book “out of an abundance of caution” after the post garnered half a million views on Twitter.
A TROUBLING THEME
Flamer is not the first book with adult content to make its way into a HCPS middle school. The Florida Standard reported in August that Pierce Middle School in Tampa houses a copy of This Book is Gay, which features explicit instructions on anal and oral sex, hand jobs and how to use the gay hookup app Grindr.
After parents followed the District’s formal challenge process, a book review committee voted unanimously to keep the book in the library. The questionable result prompted House Speaker Paul Renner to launch an investigation into the committee, which conducted closed-door meetings.
“This book is clearly inappropriate for middle school children, and the fact there are those who disagree is shocking and raises serious questions about their judgment and ability to protect Florida students,” Alex Lanfranconi, Director of Communications at the Florida Department of Education, told The Florida Standard in an email at the time.
“For a middle school to allow this is disgraceful,” Lanfranconi added. “It is clear that Hillsborough County Schools has consistently demonstrated a wanton disregard for the law, parents rights and age-appropriate content.”