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Kentucky principal who banned books for ‘homosexual content’ charged with child porn

Phillip Todd Wilson, 54, was indicted Tuesday on 17 charges related to child pornography. He was the principal of a school in Kentucky.
Phillip Todd Wilson, 54, was indicted Tuesday on 17 charges related to child pornography. He was the principal of a school in Kentucky. (Clark County Detention Center)

WINCHESTER, Ky. – A former Kentucky school principal who years ago made headlines for banning books for “homosexual content” was indicted Tuesday on child pornography charges.

Phillip Todd Wilson, 54, was charged in August with 30 counts of child pornography and distribution, Kentucky state police said. He was indicted on 17 of those charges this week.

Wilson was the principal of the Clark County Area Technology Center. The Kentucky Department of Education confirmed to WKYT that Wilson is no longer employed at the school.

In 2009, Wilson was the principal of Montgomery County High School when he was part of an effort to remove several young-adult novels for content deemed “inappropriate” for students, according to NBC News. Wilson reportedly banded together with other administrators to ban books with “homosexual content,” as well as some that mentioned drugs, sex, child abuse and suicide.

The four books challenged by the school district were “Twisted” by Laurie Halse Anderson, “Deadline” by Chris Crutcher, “Lessons from a Dead Girl” by Jo Knowles, and “Unwind” by Neal Shusterman. The novels were listed as optional reading in English classes, but eventually pulled from the curriculum.

Risha Mullins, a teacher who had “Lessons from a Dead Girl" in her classroom, was accused of teaching “soft pornography,” according to the Courier-Journal. The novel is about a girl who endures sexual and emotional abuse from a female friend.

After news of the charges against Wilson, several of the authors spoke out on social media.

“I was a very new author at the time all this happened and the press coverage was overwhelming. 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,” Knowles said in a Facebook post in August. “I am having a lot of feelings right now. As I said to some friends last night when I got the news, ‘You can’t make this s**t up.’”

“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,” Anderson wrote on Twitter.


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