1. ITV Report

Mum 'disgusted' at 'explicit' book with 'sexual slang'

Photo: MEN Syndication

A mum says she was shocked when her 12-year-old daughter brought home a children’s book containing a ‘graphic’ glossary of sexual terms.

Melissa McDonald says her daughter brought home a copy of ‘This Book Is Gay’, which includes a ‘cheat sheet’ of slang sexual phrases and their definitions.

Manchester Health Academy, which ran a book signing with the author Juno Dawson, has apologised to parents claiming a very small number of ‘age-inappropriate books’ were sold ‘without authorisation’.

But the author has defended the international bestseller, which she claims has helped far more people than it has offended.

The writer visited the Wythenshawe school on Tuesday to speak to Year 7 pupils and sign copies of her latest book, ‘Margot and Me’.

During the session copies of ‘This Book Is Gay’ were also sold to a small number of children.

Melissa, from Northern Moor, said the content is explicit and totally unsuitable for a child as young as her daughter. She said:

My daughter loves books so I gave her the money to buy the book. But instead of ‘Margot and Me’ she’s been sold this book. There’s an A to Z of everything mentioned in the book – it’s meant for 18-year-olds.

This could scar a child for life. What’s in this book is absolutely disgusting. I’m absolutely shook up.

– Melissa McDonald

Melissa said the school took away several copies of the book but her daughter managed to bring a copy home because she had left early.

The mum-of-three added:

I’m disgusted. It’s really explicit.

– Melissa McDonald

However, Juno has defended the book, saying she felt a responsibility to explain and debunk myths around sexuality.

The former teacher said ‘This Book Is Gay’ aims to provide sexual education to young LGBTQ students and those who seek to understand the community.

She said:

I get letters of thanks every day from young people who feel the book has helped them to come to terms with their identity and to come out to loved ones.

I think we have to question why sex education is suitable for 10-year-olds but same-sex sex education is ‘inappropriate’.

– Juno Dawson

A spokesman for Manchester Health Academy said:

Following an author visit, a very small number of age-inappropriate books were sold without our authorisation.

We took immediate action to retrieve the books.

Parents were also informed and our apologises offered.

We have been in touch with the company who arranged the visit to express our displeasure and seek assurance that no other school will be put in this position.

– Manchester Health Academy