PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WMBB) — Bay High School students spoke out against the School Board’s decision to uphold banning a book Tuesday afternoon.

The book “Ace of Spades” tells the story of two black, queer teenagers at a private school. It depicts their experience with bullying and their understanding of their sexual identity.  

“I feel like it personally was brought to the committee’s attention because it is about a black gay relationship and sexuality, ” Bay High School’s Class of 2024 President Cassidy Bruckschen said.  

The book had been challenged by ‘Moms for Liberty’ a non-profit organization that advocates against school curriculum that mentions LGBTQ rights, critical race theory, and discrimination. 

All challenged books go to a committee made up of nine community members.

“Everybody on the committee read the book and they said they voted that it wasn’t appropriate,” Bay District School Board member Steve Moss said. “That then went to the superintendent and the superintendent said, yes, I agree with the committee.”

In response, around 150 Bay High School, students wrote letters to each member of the school board asking them to reconsider the decision.

Bruckschen cited two books that aren’t banned, but have similar content:

“To Kill a Mockingbird” and “The Color Purple,” which Bruckschen said are not only on Bay High School’s library shelves but also part of the curriculum.

“Other books on our shelves could be banned for many other reasons,” Bruckschen said. “But they banned this one. And I feel like it’s opening up a rabbit hole. If we start here, where does it end?”

Moss who voted in favor of upholding the ban, despite admitting to having never read the book said the homosexual content is part of the reason the book was banned. 

“The homosexual relationships and homosexual sex part of it,” Moss said. “That was one of them, along with the rape and the language and the racism part of it. It was four or five things, but the homophobic relationships was one of the four or five that they mentioned.”

Bay County Public Library has four copies of “Ace of Spades” in circulation. Librarian Sarah Burris said they will not be removing their copies of the book.