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Author Not Allowed to Read Unicorn Book at Ohio School

Due to fears it might promote a 'gay agenda'
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 18, 2022 2:00 AM CDT
Author Was Not Allowed to Read Unicorn Book at Ohio School
The cover of Jason Tharp's book.   (

Children's book author Jason Tharp says his planned book reading at an Ohio elementary school was halted after concerns were raised about the book's possible "gay agenda." Tharp was scheduled to read It's Okay to Be a Unicorn on April 6, but the day before, he got a call from Buckeye Valley Local School District informing him of the issue. "I just said, did somebody think I made a gay book? And he's like, 'Yeah,' and I'm like, 'Because why? Rainbows and unicorns?'" Tharp told USA Today. He says the answer to that question was essentially affirmative. He later clarified on Instagram, "The principal, teachers, students, and school was awesome. These decisions were made outside of that building."

There are no references to homosexuality in the book, which is about loving and accepting yourself, but, Tharp tells USA Today, a parent scrolling through Tharp's social media saw that he supports the LGBTQ+ community. "One parent ... came in and said that apparently, I was coming in with an agenda to recruit kids to be gay," he says. Tharp offered to read another book, It's Okay to Smell Good, which has a similar message but involves a story about skunks rather than unicorns, but he was told to instead just focus on an uplifting message rather than read any of his books.

In a statement to ABC 6, the district says the author visit went on as scheduled, just, apparently, without the book reading. "Jason shares an inspirational message with students about how he was 'weird' in school but has capitalized on what made him unique (his drawing) and turned it into a strength. Jason’s message revolves around K.U.P which stands for: Kindness (be kind to others and yourself) Uniqueness (be yourself and capitalize on what makes you unique) Practice (practice unique skills you have, chase your dreams). After discussing his message, Jason will share his talent of drawing and illustration." The district says the book has not been banned. (More Ohio stories.)

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