Banning book reading at school board meetings?

61
2203

By DAVID BOYLE

It is paradoxical that Anchorage students can read books from the school libraries, yet their parents are stopped from reading them out loud in a public forum—the school board meetings.

At a recent Anchorage School Board meeting, a citizen activist read from “This Book is Gay” and was immediately stopped by Board President Margo Bellamy because, “There are children in the audience.”

Since these books are readily available to elementary school children and condoned by the school board, why did Bellamy become upset? 

The attack on family values is not just occurring in Anchorage and other Alaska school districts.  The National Education Association — the NEA — has this as part of its national agenda to normalize certain behaviors in support of the LBGTQ community, at the expense of all others.  

Here is a furious New Jersey mother testifying to her school board on “This Book is Gay.”

Why does Margo Bellamy, a licensed librarian, want to keep children from hearing the book’s story and yet still wants to allow young children to have access to the book? What is she trying to hide from parents?  Is this really an effort to groom children?

Can we now expect Board President Bellamy to put forth a policy such that no parent can read aloud from books that are in the school library.  It’s kind of like the banning of reading of books in public.

So, it would be alright if an elementary school teacher were to read from the book “George/Melissa” to young children, yet a parent cannot read it to the school board.

The good news is the district does have a means for a parent to object to library materials and instructional materials.

The district’s Controversial Concerns Committee receives complaints on books from anyone living in the Municipality. From its webpage:

“Anchorage School District parents, guardians, staff, students, and local community members are always welcome to voice concerns about instructional or library materials used in our district”.

The bad news is the meetings of the Controversial Concerns Committee are not open to the public and no minutes are kept. Shouldn’t they be open? What are they hiding?

The debate regarding whether a book like “This Book is Gay” is appropriate is closed to the public. Even the public members of this committee are not disclosed. 

If you want to see what books are available to your children in the ASD school libraries go to this link.

And if you want to file a complaint on a certain book, go to this link.

One school librarian believes that it’s OK for students to have access to certain sex books, but they should not be read aloud.

The Bartlett High School librarian, Becky Forsyth, says, “Students are never forced to read a book in the library.  During the public testimony, no one was able to choose to read, but instead they were subjected to listening to someone engendering controversy.”

Forsyth compares “This is Gay” (fiction) to scientific books on human anatomy and the reproductive systems (non-fiction).  Here is her email: “Another reason for the book to remain is that we have at least one other book about heterosexual sex, and other books on the reproductive system and anatomy.”

Forsyth goes on further to say, “We live in a democratic society. Free speech is equated with free reading choice.”

But don’t dare read excerpts from these books to the school board or you will be reprimanded and told it is not acceptable.

There are different rules for teachers.  They are protected by their union contract.

Here is their protection: “Members shall not be censored or restrained in the performance of their duties exclusively on the grounds that the material discussed and/opinions expressed are controversial”.

Teachers can read controversial sexual content books to your children, but you are not allowed to read the same books to the school board. Thus, teachers are granted more rights than parents when it comes to discussing controversial subjects.

61 COMMENTS

    • Go ahead!
      I expect you to be at the next ASD board meeting to read the passage out loud to the board.

      Ironically IF any teacher would use passages from the Bible in their classroom, you would be on this forum loudly complaining about the “separation of church and state”.
      The bible contains stories that illustrate the fallibility of humans and behavior not conducive to a harmonious society, admonishing Christians NOT follow those examples. Some bible texts are inappropriate for children as they contain adult themes and are in my experience not read with that age group.

      • If they read from just the bible, and from the koran, and the mahabharata, and avesta and others from a cultural perspective-no, not so much.

        Bible alone?-I thought we were against indoctrination in our schools.

        • Are you going to read racy examples from all those text to the school board? Should be an interesting meeting.
          Maureen, YOU brought up the bible passage to embarrass believers, erroneously implying that they teach these passages to young children, yet you support explicit pornographic material in our classrooms…….
          BTW thank you for admitting that these gender books ARE there to indoctrinate our children!

          • Nah Maureen, do not worry I am made of sterner stuff. First I actually understand the bible passages are meant to teach what not to do and second, teaching moments arrive in sometimes curious forms. Thank you.
            That you can not discern pornographically explicit how-to-manuals directed at young kids from a book that will give guidance to adults without intricately detailed pictures and description, says a lot. As they say to each their own, but that includes parents making choices for their children instead of teachers and bureaucrats.

          • Gender books in school are for education, not indoctrination. Remember Dick and Jane and their mom and dad and sister Sally? First grade indoctrination A.

            I didn’t mean to embarrass anyone. Apparently YOU felt embarrassment, probably because it looks real bad when you call out others for things that you are doing, too. I get that you think the bible is ok for kids in public school-whch don’t have biblical teachers to explain the porn as a teaching moment about (Judaic) sin. Keep your porn in your church.

          • You know Maureen, you and I actually are in agreement here and have the same overall goal.
            Setting the religious considerations aside for the moment, you object to the bible in the classroom, because it contains adults themes of incest, rape, bigamy, sodomy, prostitution etc. All topics unsuitable for school age children. You are therefore determined to remove it from school library shelves and classrooms.
            Many parents and I object to the explicitly graphic messages in these books of same-sex acts of minor children, pedophilia, gender-dystopia etc., as these are also adult themes minor children are neither emotionally nor cognitively equipped to deal with. So we wish to have these books removed from school library shelves and classrooms.
            So you see in the end we are both looking out for the emotional welfare of children and to use an earlier comment of yours “Inapproriate IS inapproriate” no matter your political view.

        • No Taxpayer. I am saying check the plank in your own eye instead of ignoring it and going after others you don’tcare to understand.

          Parent is the only one to say no to THEIR OWN CHILD if said child brings home a book said parent doesn’t like. No one else’s child.

          • LOL! Maureen, so you demand that I examine my own short-comings before I cast the first stone, while you are clean as the wind-driven snow and have not such impediments….thank you for making my point.
            Second, individual parents ARE saying “NO” to the books their child is exposed to in class or at the school library. There are a lot of those parents, who have decided this issue against these books, but somehow their voices are neither heard nor respected.

          • You guys are going after others before checking yourselves. Blowing basic Christianity.

            YOU GUYS cast the first stone. I’m just responding to YOUR cast.

      • An egregious example of curious behavior would start at the beginning. If it were true that Adam and Eve had two sons (and no mention of a daughter at all) who exactly were those two boys breeding?

        And before one of the pious retorts with an invented explanation they’ve pulled directly from a horse’s patoot yeah, please spare me.

        • There is nothing in Genesis that claims that Cain and Abel were Adam and Eve’s ONLY children, you know. Although even if not the case, the resultant inbreeding would have been horrendous.
          .
          Aside from those hypothetical points, I think many Christians are fine with considering the creation, and Garden of Eden, stories in Genesis as allegory, rather than as literal historical fact.

          • There was nothing in Genesis that claims there weren’t airplanes, either. It would be wiser to avoid making up solutions to inconvenient aspects of a religious text and consider it all to be allegorical and none of it literal.

          • Sadly, many Christians DO take the book as historical fact, believing nonsense like the earth being less than 10,000 years old or that humans walked the earth at the same time as dinosaurs. In fact, some polls but biblical literalists as being as much as 50% of the population. A truly deep well of credulity.

      • I have no sisters and my dad has been dead since I was 16. I am now 61.

        Maybe if sex in books is of concern in school-besure your own are clean first. FYI-the bible isn’t clean about sex. Get it out of our schools if you are taking books out for the reason you say you are.

    • Please do.
      Can’t wait to hear it. Perhaps it will warm your little leftist heart to see the Old Testament banned from schools.

        • Perhaps, but there is a difference between a book that has few inappropriate items in it, and a book that teaches pre-teens how to give out… well… let’s keep if family friendly.

        • “Not anyone else’s kid.”
          So, you are good with removing the LGBTQWERTY+ books from the schools, then?
          At least we can agree on that. No bibles, no korans, no grooming books.

  1. The “only” real and viable solution to this out-of-control chaos and mayhem is for parents to pull their children from public schools immediately. The entrenched educational institution // bureaucracy is too powerful for parents to fight individually.

    • I have been saying the same thing get out of public schools. Remember it’s your kids at risk of this crap plus they come out with an elementary education not ready for the real world. What a way for your kids to leave the nest with a handicap from the public school system.

    • Public school as it exists today is child abuse.

      I really feel bad for low income parents who are denied the opportunity to send their kids to better schools by the educational industrial complex.

      Education of children is not a prior of public education. It is, at best, a happy accident.

    • What part of ‘not appropriate for children’ equals book burning? If you want your kids subjected to these kinds of materials, provide them with the books at home. Maybe you’d like to take your kids to a drag queen show while you’re at it. If you do, it’s YOUR decision. You do not have any right to put that on our kids.

          • How sad!
            You know for someone who hates religion and the bible, you sure think you know a lot about it. Why should anyone listen to you, since neither you nor Lucinda profess to adhere to biblical standards and mock them all the time. It is mighty hypocritical of you to admonish Christians about their faith, when you yourself place no such restriction on your own conduct. Living up to Christ’s expectations is a life-long pursuit of humility and Grace for believers. Passages like this are to kindly support our fellow Christian travelers to help them on their faith journey, not for stone-throwing hoodlums at the side of the road, who are choosing not to make the journey. So we shake the dust off our sandals and move on…..

          • Oh so you are using biblical quotations now. How hypocritical of you. Yes the Bible shouldn’t be in public schools, it should be in the homes and its lessons taught their. Same can be said for the LGBT whatever freak animated sex guides you feverishly froth at the mouth over. They as well have no place within reach of children in public education. What’s good for the goose is good for the gander. Remove both said materials from public education. The Bible won’t matter for family’s of faith, they will teach it in their homes. You sure are nothing more than sour grapes.

  2. The Biblical account of Lots daughters is clearly identified as sin and the result of Lots foolish attempt to remain in Sodom!! The Bible clearly pictures the depravity of mankind apart from God and just as clearly identifies the remedy, namely a saving relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ. But why stop in the Old Testament? Why don’t you also reads Roman’s 1.. “ and God gave them over to a depraved mind” because they rejected the truth!!

    • Before you run this thread off the rails and forget that it’s actually about children’s exposure to adult deviant adult behavior note that sin is a religious construct which is to say that there is no such thing. There is right and there is wrong but there is not sin. The concept was invented as a way to make the great unwashed hoard feel guilty and inclined toward penance and tithe. There isn’t a bogeyman either.

      • Then where do morals come from? If the bible is fiction, then so are the 10 commandments. Without the 10 commandments, we wouldn’t have moral law. Murder would be fine, adultery would be normal…

        • Morals are innate. To assume otherwise is to assume that we all start out as future serial killers and that only our exposure to biblical text saves us from our inner Charles Manson… which means that all who don’t accept the bible as divinely inspired text must be battling w/ their inner serial killer every day.

          In that your question seems genuine I’ll go an inch further.

          Commandment 4
          What is the likelihood that prior to Moses coming down from the mount that day there had been planned a major sharing of marital partners that very evening? Would he have been greeted to cries of “you have got to be kidding, right”? No, not right. Most choose a monogamous path at some point and most do not know the story of Moses.

          Commandment 6
          Do you think you should be convicted of a thought crime? If you come into this world imperfect is it not also true that you should expect to have some pretty crazy stuff fly through your head every once in a while and though you may not act on them… should you be convicted of having had the idea appear in your noggin?

          Just so we’re all on the same page, I don’t tell anyone that I’m agnostic or atheist or anything of the sort. It is inappropriate though to consider only one side of any argument and assume that whatever you had been told must be accurate. That is particularly so when somebody starts telling you about a magical dead jew; it’s good to be skeptical of preposterous stories.

          Further, you are an atheist. There are more than 1000 religions in the world and more gods than that. Do you believe in Hanuman the Monkey God? Of course not. You’re an atheist to all of them but the one you were sold at a young and impressionable age along w/ Santa, the Tooth Fairy, the Devil, Superman and other storybook characters.

        • I don’t think there’s ever been a society found in the historical record that believed murder, theft and perjury were OK. Even civilizations that pre-dated monotheism didn’t think that type of thing was OK. These beliefs long pre-date the 10 commandments and anything resembling Judeo-Christian belief. As has been stated, morality is innate in us and in other non-human primates.

    • That is the Biblical account and YOU have been indoctrinated to believe it. Indoctrinated by religion. A closed/limited system. Education in an open system and unlimited.

      And the so called porn of a blow job in Gender Queer is in the author saying it’s not for me.

  3. It’s intriguing how desperate the attempt is. Can’t defend the concept?
    Drag in the Bible, which isn’t the book or the topic under discussion.

    Would have been smarter to have said nothing at all. But some are so obsessed they have no other play.

  4. You can oppose these books all you want… you can submit the proper paperwork about why you want a book removed from school or public library all you want. It will be ignored or you will receive a response so liberal your eyelashes will curl. Our family tried. It made zero difference. The gal in Homer tried. It made no difference. The only thing you can change now as a parent: where your child is educated. Bring your kids home and educate them yourself. You have the freedom and ability to sift through, research and find the right curricula for your family for each child, subject and grade. Get your kids out of public school or schools who fund access to books like this.

      • This is not about you and your reading preferences, Ms. Suttman. It’s about reading material depicting deviant adult behavior and the school system pretending that that’s suitable educational material for young people.

        You may enjoy reading such books and if that’s the case you should sate yourself on such subjects. Most parents of young kids would prefer aberrant sexual behavior not be taught to their children. It is against the law as an adult to engage in such behavior w/ a child but somehow it’s ok for an adult to write books about it and market them to an audience of children. Do you have children Ms. Suttman and if so at what age did you teach your daughter about the joy of a blow job? …or where you hoping the school district would select the appropriate time and cover that for you?

        • I learned in my church as a child that God is love.

          Later I noticed that guys ran everything and women NEVER got to lead. That was and is a problem.

          My folks paid taxes for public school happily while scraping to send my brothers and me to Catholic schools through highschool. I then went to a Catholic college for 5 years getting two degrees-one working with children. In those schools such books would not be there in grade and highschool because it was against the faith more or less.

          Have you read Gender Queer? I haven’t and really haven’t wanted to. I realize others are different from me and may have interest in reading it. I wouls expect a good parent to openly discuss it and all books read by their child.

          • Why are you defending placement of the book in schools that you haven’t read and don’t want to? Your comments appear to support both sides of a mutually exclusive discussion. From your comments are we to understand that God is love but he is also responsible for women never getting to lead?

            You are aware that the head of Hewlett Packard was (and may still be) a woman? Another woman that comes to mind heads a $20bb + international business. I know another woman that leads a multi-billion dollar company with a facility in Anchorage and she was not gifted the position. My daughters lead in male dominated fields. It’s not a question of whether or not women get to lead, it’s
            that they’re often taught from a young age to be subservient which is to say they’re taught not to lead. I chose the opposite for my daughters and told my wife when my girls were young that the quality of their life would not be dependent upon the largess of a man.

            More than half the women you meet focus on family and a percentage more focus on family and the day to day bills. It is rare for women to put as much effort into becoming business leaders as do men and it has been ever thus. Men don’t ‘get’ to lead, they wrestle the reins from someone else and hold them until another person fights their way ahead.

            If more women chose otherwise our culture would be even more fouled up than it is. That is an observation and not a platitude.

          • Trouser BARK-not seeing any women pastors in your list. Women would be great leaders there too.

            Not interested in the want to put male led religious values in our schools and laws.

            I trust our schools to reach all kids. The possibly Queer ones too.

          • Said Maureen Suttman:
            “Trouser BARK-not seeing any women pastors in your list. Women would be great leaders there too.”
            —-

            I’m going to venture a couple of guesses here and I’d wager I’m correct:

            – You have no idea whom I was referring to in my comment about a woman that runs a multi-billion dollar business with a facility here in Anchorage and that business could have been a church. / Your analytical faculties are either compromised or insufficient.

            – You confuse books written to make queers feel good about themselves and their ilk as educational when they’re not / You have an agenda

            – You reserve a significant degree of animus toward religions and it’s subjective rather than objective / You dislike people of faith

            – You assume that the school system should “reach all kids” rather than teach all kids and in that process you think that the school district should make available to children an adequate number of texts teaching homosexuality. / You want to assuage the guilt you feel about choices you’ve made

            – You make statements that indicate you may be a bit of a man-hater / You are lesbian

            Now it makes sense. You want the next generation of social deviants to be stigmatized less than you and your partner / peers. Another militant dyke that thinks the rest of us need to accept your life choices. I have news for you, Maureen. None of us give a rip what you do in your private time and if you’d shut the hell up you and your kind would realize that. The first step in avoiding stigmata is to shut up for a moment and realize that no one cares. Here’s how it works with everyone else:

            – In your 20’s you think everyone’s talking about you

            – In your 30’s you choose not to care that they’re talking about you

            – In your 40’s you realize they never were.

            The homosexual community takes it another step further requiring that everyone make accepting statements and that will never happen. Get over yourself.

          • That you used the term ‘ilk’ referring to queer folks shows YOUR bias in this. It also is a poor follow-up on your excellant words about where morality comes from previously.

            I noticed There were a lot of you, you, you, aimed at me in you comment. Can we stay on the subject as opposed to you fantasizing about me?

            Gender Queer is a critically acclaimed and award winning book. I have read much about it. Not appropriate for some families, not all. As a 60 something adult trained in the mental health concerns and treatment of children and families, I would be happy to discuss this book and any book my grandchild was reading.

          • Ms. Suttman, anyone that says they have no bias in such matters should be deemed suspect.

            Nice redirect though and it confirms that I was correct. Exposure makes it much easier to understand why an unrelated individual (by HRSA definition) would attempt to undermine the authority inherent to the family unit.

            Don’t feel too bad. You were indoctrinated to believe in sin and you will carry that perspective for as long as you allow.

          • Have your bias Trouser Bark. Name calling due to that bias is another thing completely.

            You write some brilliant things. How about just saying you disagree or don’t personally like something and leave it as that? Demeaning your oppponent in debate doesn’t compel them to join your thinking. It repells them. Just a thought.

          • Nonsense. I have not demeaned anyone nor have I called anyone a name. Queer last I checked is part of your alphabet soup initialism and your choice.

            If objectivity is demeaning the problem is not my comment.

  5. Bad associations spoil useful habits. The library books are particulately bad associates for innocent children. Anyone who is not a pervert understands this. These books are evil in intent and effect. Proponants of such reading materials for children do not qualify to be my associate or friend either.

  6. Typical child… errr… I mean leftists. When they hear something they do not want to hear, they try to stop everyone from hearing it as well.
    The board should just cover their ears and yell “LALALALALALALALLALALALALALA!” really loudly when something they do not want to hear is said. It would actually be more adult than this.

  7. It’s sad to see the lengths some are going through to avoid the actual subject. Public schools are actively trying to sexualize children. Especially in matters of gay and trans.

    “But the Bible” is a sad, pathetic attempt at obfuscation. One has nothing to do with the other, and all participants know it.

    The fanatical butt hurt some show towards faith is revealing. It’s a clear indication of knowing in their heart they are wrong, but too deep in their personal demons to admit it.

    Kind of like a cheating spouse accusing their partner of cheating to attempt to mitigate their own guilt.

  8. It’s sad to see the lengths some are going through to avoid the actual subject. So called Christians are actively trying to limit Education to through a single lens of so called Christianity.

    No Thanks.

    • There is a big difference between education and grooming. We can teach our kids to respect one another without pornography or grooming. Stop child abuse.
      It is obvious that the ones clammering for “tolerance” just a few short years ago will settle for nothing less than the overthrow of the natural order.

      • Religions groom kids pretty clearly.

        Natural order is a religious construct. No place for it in our public schools.

        Parents itis your duty to policeyour child’s books. Do not make the government do the work of parents.

  9. I’m for vouchers, let parents decide what’s appropriate for their children. Given the choice between grooming or education the parents would largely choose education. The educational system is totally broken and our future generations will suffer because of it.

    • I’m for public schools and if you want something else, YOU pay for it. Like when my parents sent me to Catholic School. Get all your religious grooming in education that way.

      Your religion is extra to public education. Wanna do a World Religions class under the Social Studies Department? Fine. Make everyone follow your Christian ideals in public schools? No.

    • Reed:
      I am with you there.
      Vouchers. Parents can choose to send their child to the closest public school, the one with the best teachers, the one with the best sports teams, the one with the best arts education, or a privately run school. When the individual school’s operating budget becomes dependent on how well they educate the children to meet their parent’s expectations, you will see improvements.

Comments are closed.