Kentucky Principal Who Banned LGBTQ Books Arrested On 17 Counts Of Child Porn Possession, Distribution

A former Kentucky school principal who made national headlines for banning books with “homosexual content” from classrooms has been indicted on child pornography charges.

Phillip Todd Wilson, the former principal of the Clark County Area Technology Center in Winchester, Kentucky, was charged with 17 counts of child pornography possession and distribution in August, according to Kentucky state police.

Phillip Todd Wilson (Clark County Detention Center)

A spokesperson for the Kentucky Department of Education told NBC News that Wilson was fired from the school shortly after his arrest.

Ten years ago, as principal of the Montgomery County High School in Kentucky, Wilson joined together with other administrators to successfully remove at least four young-adult novels that had been listed as optional reading in English classes.

According to a 2009 article from The Lexington Herald-Leader, Wilson led a fight to ban books with “homosexual content,” as well as those that mentioned drugs, sex, child abuse and suicide, because he deemed these topics “inappropriate” for students.

The four books that were reportedly pulled from the curriculum were “Twisted” by Laurie Halse Anderson, “Deadline” by Chris Crutcher, “Lessons from a Dead Girl” by Jo Knowles and “Unwind” by Neal Shusterman.

According to NBC News, “though Knowles’ book is about a girl who endures sexual and emotional abuse from a female friend, Knowles said her book was banned for ‘homosexual content.’ ”

“I was a very new author at the time all this happened and the press coverage was overwhelming,” Knowles, author of “Lessons from a Dead Girl,” wrote in a recent post on Facebook. “I was horrified by the accusations he and the superintendent made. And heartbroken for the brave teacher, Risha Allen Mullins, who stood up for our books and faced so much unfair criticism.”

In response to news of Wilson’s indictment, Knowles added, “As I said to some friends last night when I got the news, ‘You can’t make this sh– up.’”

Laurie Halse Anderson also took to Twitter after learning about the charges against Wilson.

“Books that help kids examine the violence, abuse and shame they’ve endured are very threatening to the people who commit those acts of violence, abuse, and shaming,” she wrote.

The Washington Post notes: “Wilson attracted police attention after someone told his facility’s school resource officer that the principal had sent them 15 pictures via social media and text messages, the Winchester Sun newspaper reported. In an interview with police, Wilson admitted to sending images to two females and authorities confiscated his cellphone and laptop.”


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