An elementary school in Buckeye Valley School District in Ohio invited Jason Tharp, a picture book author, to speak to students. It’s Okay To Be a Unicorn!, however, was not allowed to be read aloud at school when a parent protested. The book is about embracing one’s uniqueness and embracing one’s differences.
Tharp subsequently discovered that the parent had thought the book featured LGBTQ material because of the rainbow on the front cover – they hadn’t even opened the book. In the future, Tharp got an email asking that he not recite from his book It’s Okay To Smell Good!
The event provoked an emergency meeting of the school district, where all the parents present advocated in support of the book. However, Tharp (as well as the instructor who was ordered to remove student artwork) denies that the book was ever banned by the school system.
For whatever reason, Tharp had no idea that he’d find himself in the position of having to defend a unicorn book.
As the district’s interim superintendent put it, the district just wanted to make sure that the book had been thoroughly checked out. The district has yet to make a decision on whether or not to let the book back into classrooms.