What is appropriate?

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To the editor:
I recently attended a board of education meeting where I was allowed to express my opinion on current AP English literature selections. I closed my presentation with a question: Who decides when a minor child is old enough to be exposed to literature containing vulgarity, rape, and incest in the classroom?
One gentleman mentioned the Bible contained similar content while others argued these students are mature enough to discuss such topics in a classroom setting. I agree, but did the Bible go into graphic detail? I understand the entirety of the text(s) in question is not what many consider obscene, but paragraphs of concern are in line with pornography.
When those of traditional values question literary selections, you can almost hear the screams and accusations of book banning, censorship and intolerance. My question to all: What is appropriate in a classroom?
I am intrigued that as this material was debated, no one would read the selection in question aloud. A copy was provided to board members and offered to one other speaker who declined to read as well.
The audience was adults and high school students. I feel if the material in question is appropriate for the classroom, it should have been a comfortable read for any of its supporters during the time of this meeting designated to discuss it.
If it is inappropriate to read certain content in a meeting while it is the topic of discussion, why is it appropriate for children to read it in the classroom?
Robert Norton