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.