It’s Not About Censorship or Book Banning
I went to speak to the school board about sexually explicit books in the library and realized something more important needed to be discussed
Last night I stood in front of at least 150 people and read out loud something that I wouldn’t choose to read even in private.
A group of concerned citizens (parents and non-parents) wanted the Seminole County School Board to know about the sexually explicit material available in public school libraries. It was an organized effort of volunteers who were willing to attend the meeting and take their two minutes of public comment time to read passages from books with graphic descriptions of sex acts.
I thought this morning I would be writing about the difference between book banning and age-appropriate access, about censorship and parental rights. But there was something else about last night’s meeting that bears discussing.
There was a large group of people who were clearly opposed to removing sexually explicit texts from the school libraries. They filled the front rows of the meeting room, many wearing matching black t-shirts.
The meeting opened with an invocation and the Pledge of Allegiance. As most of us stood and placed our hands over our hearts, the person in front of me slumped in her seat and raised her right hand in a fist. I didn’t notice if any others had done the same.
Next on the agenda was the recognition of the school system’s Veteran of the Month, a high school teacher who suffered a career-ending injury in the Army and was able to transition to another career of service in education. At the end of the presentation, the audience applauded and rose to their feet to honor this dedicated man and his family.
I estimated a quarter of the black t-shirt group remained seated.
Are these people free to demonstrate their feelings with rude, disrespectful behavior?
Does it make serious, thoughtful people want to listen to their opinions?