LAKELAND, Fla. (WFLA) — Polk County School Board members are recommending whether to keep or remove some books in school libraries. This comes after a group claimed 16 books could violate state laws.

None of the books at this point have been removed but rather placed at different school levels. During the school board meeting in Lakeland on Tuesday, the focus was on age appropriateness.

Superintendent Frederick Heid said his recommendation differs from the committee’s on three books.

“Where is the book currently, so we’re not looking to expand its presence in other schools without reason or justification,” said Heid. “Additionally, I looked at the recommendation for their grade level by the publishers and by the author level.”

This all unfolded when the group, County Citizens Defending Freedom USA said it identified 16 books that could violate two state laws on harmful material and obscenity. Heid then pulled the books from the shelves and launched a review.

Two book review committees have been formed. Each is comprised of students, teachers, parents and childhood development experts.

“This was never about banning books, it was always about age appropriateness,” said board member Lynn Wilson.

Wilson gave an analogy. There’s a system in place to rate movies. Depending on how explicit it is, a movie could have an ‘R rating’. Wilson says that’s what is happening with this book review — to make the access of certain books available to certain ages only.

Here is the full list:

  • “Two Boys Kissing” by David Levithan
  • “The Kite Runner” by Khaled Hosseini
  • “Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close” by Jonathan Safran Foer
  • “Thirteen Reasons Why” by Jay Asher
  • “The Vincent Boys” by Abbi Glines
  • “It’s Perfectly Normal” by Robie Harris
  • “Real Live Boyfriends” by E. Lockhart
  • “George” by Alex Gino
  • “I am Jazz” by Jessica Herthel and Jazz Jennings
  • “Drama” by Raina Telgmeier
  • “Nineteen Minutes” by Jodi Picoult
  • “More Happy Than Not” by Adam Silvera
  • “Beloved” by Toni Morrison
  • “The Bluest Eyes” by Toni Morrison
  • “Tricks” by Ellen Hopkins
  • “Almost Perfect” by Brian Katcher

Heid will provide a final summary with all of the recommendations at the May 10 school board meeting. The school board can make a motion to vote but it’s not required.

“I think what we’ve done acted in good faith to honor grade-level expectations empowering parents to make informed decisions and place additional restrictions as they see fit as a family and that’s an incredible opportunity for us,” said Heid.

During the meeting, Heid says the district, at some point, will be creating very aggressive messaging — to get parents involved in which books their kids have access to in a digital form.