Biden Administration Demands Georgia Schools Show Pornography to Kids
BY: JORDAN BOYD | MAY 31, 2023
Read more at https://thefederalist.com/2023/05/31/biden-education-bureaucrats-overrule-georgia-parents-to-protect-porn-in-schools/
VISIT ON TWITTER@JORDANBOYDTX
Bureaucrats in President Joe Biden’s Department of Education just put their thumb on the scale of a book dispute in Georgia by not only smearing parents’ concerns about sexually explicit books in schools but also leveraging their federal power to intimidate districts that have successfully purged porn from campuses. In the Biden administration’s latest attempt to weaponize an arm of the federal government against parents, the DOE’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR) wrote a letter to Forsyth County Schools Superintendent Jeff Bearden on May 19 outlining everything it deemed wrong with the district’s decision to pull several inappropriate books from school bookshelves.
Not only did the federal agency demand that the district offer “supportive measures to students who may have been impacted by the book removal process,” but the OCR also ordered the Georgia school district to administer a “climate survey” to middle and high school students so bureaucrats can “assess whether additional steps need to be taken.”
The OCR predicated its probe into Forsyth schools on allegations from an unnamed complainant that the administration, at the bidding of parents, “created a hostile environment for students” based on race, color, or national origin. Using the Supreme Court’s expanded definition of “sex” as determined in the 5-4 Bostock v. Clayton County decision in 2020, the OCR also claimed it was investigating whether Forsyth County schools “created a hostile environment for students” based on sexual orientation and identity.
The Bostock ruling specifically pertained to sex differences in employment, not education. Still, after reviewing district documents, emails from parents to school staff, and school board meetings as well as interviewing several district staff, the Biden administration attempted to justify its involvement in this local education dispute by claiming it is a top enforcer of the 1972 Title IX and the 1964 Title VI laws.
“In my opinion, this is not about books,” Cindy Martin, an FCS mother, told The Federalist. “This is about the federal government using bully tactics against our school system to indoctrinate our children into their LGBTQ ideology.”
District and Parents Agree: Porn Shouldn’t Be in Schools
Clamor over inappropriate content in Forsyth schools first surfaced in 2021 when parents discovered several titles including sexually explicit material were made available by schools to their children. One parent told The Federalist that despite several attempts to contact the district, she never heard back until January 2022. After months of ignoring parents’ calls for change, the district called a District Media Committee meeting to independently discuss how to address ongoing concerns about unsuitable content in the classroom. By Jan. 21, 2022, FCS Superintendent Dr. Jeff Bearden asked the chief technology and information officer (CTIO) to “pull from school libraries books that were obviously sexually explicit or pornographic.”
“…how to address ongoing concerns about unsuitable content in the classroom”? Simple really. If you are uncomfortable reading the material Sunday Morning in Church Service, then should our children be READING IT?
“For us, it’s not about censorship because, obviously, students and parents have the right to choose to read whatever they want outside of the school,” FCS Chief Communications Officer Jennifer Caracciolo told one local media outlet at the time of the decision. “They can purchase it or they can go to the public library. But we have a responsibility whenever it comes to sexually explicit content in the walls of our buildings.”
Following a review, the CTIO asked Forsyth County Principals to indefinitely pull nine books from “all school libraries” and restrict another six books to high schools only.
“The content in them was what we would consider pervasively vulgar, and it’s not about whether or not a parent or guardian liked or disliked the ideas contained in the book or liked or disliked the author or the author’s identity, we focused on content that was pervasively vulgar,” Caracciolo clarified.
For a while, it seemed like the schools and the parents were beginning to get on the same page. But the fight wasn’t over yet.
“The conservative parents in our community were grateful that the school chose to stop providing children with this harmful, low-quality material. It fantasizes sex and leads to negative consequences such as sexual harassment, teen pregnancy, disease, and poverty,” Martin said. “However, we had done intense research and knew that eight books did not even come close to the amount of sexual explicit books that needed to be removed. This is how and why the Mama Bears of Forsyth County formed. We expected the school to make the libraries a safe place for all children. A school system should never provide sexual reading material to children.”
During its investigation, the OCR was quick to overlook the role parents and taxpayers have the right to play in the education of children, instead complaining that “the District did not make an announcement to, or have other communication with, students about the removal of the books.”
The OCR admitted in its findings letter that the school administration made it clear that the books in question “had not been reviewed for LGBTQI+ content or moral dilemma issues, just sexual explicitness.” Yet, OCR accused FCS parents of making what it characterized as “negative comments about diversity and inclusion or critical race theory.”
“Many parents called for the removal of additional books, with most of their comments focused on sexually explicit content; however, some comments focused on removing books for reasons related to gender identity or sexual orientation,” the letter stated.
The OCR additionally accused the district of giving the “impression that books were being screened to exclude diverse authors and characters, including people who are LGBTQI+ and authors who are not white, leading to increased fears and possibly harassment.”
Several local media outlets also expressed outrage at the district’s decision and spread the lie that FCS leadership was “banning” books at the bidding of parents. The OCR, in turn, cited the media’s rage as proof that parents and the district somehow overstepped their bounds by protecting minors from sexually explicit content.
One Atlanta Journal-Constitution article lamented that “Juliet Takes a Breath,” a book known for, as Common Sense Media put it, “detailed scenes of kissing and lovemaking between two women, sexual fantasies, masturbation, and periods, as well as extensive discussion of sexual orientation and gender identity,” would no longer be available to students. Another book called “Monday’s Not Coming,” one reviewer noted, is filled with “homosexuality, promiscuity, intercourse, and prostitution” as well as child abuse. That book was sent “to local media center review committees for further analysis” by the school district.
Similar coverage dominated corporate media pages after the OCR’s letter was published in May.
Shortly after the school district pulled the handful of explicit books, parents gathered at a Feb. 15, 2022 Forsyth County Board of Education meeting to express their concern that children were being exposed to even more explicit books via the school system.
One attendee, Alison Hair, only got a few words into reading an excerpt from one of the other explicit library books that still sat on FCS shelves before she was cut off by the board for allegedly violating meeting rules.
“If you continue with your statement just please, we have other people that are younger in this [room],” one board member told Hair.
“If it is inappropriate to read in this building, then it is inappropriate, inappropriate to be in a library,” Hair said. “How dare you say ‘Oh, well, there’s minors in here.’ Wait, what is it? My son’s a minor and this book that you all have copies is in my son’s middle school.”
Hair’s frustrations were echoed by more than a dozen other parents.
“I have an 11-year-old and this is not allowed in our house nor would I allow him to pick this book up at Barnes and Noble or your school library that you provide for my children,” Ann Christopher, a mother to a Forsyth County middle schooler, said. “Also, you say respect the rules. You’re telling Alison to respect the rules. Excuse me. This is in my child’s face if he chose to check it out. What rules are you respecting for my child who can’t speak for [himself]?
I’m the one here to protect my child, nobody else is. That’s why we parents are here.”
In a complaint filed in July 2022, Mama Bears of Forsyth members Hair, who was barred from school board meetings after attempting to read from another explicit passage in March, and Martin alleged that the Forsyth County Board of Education violated their First Amendment rights as parents to speak up about what kind of reading materials their children are exposed to.
“This lawsuit does not try to resolve the question of which books should be available in school libraries, but instead addresses unlawful attempts to sanitize how parents speak about those books in the presence of elected officials and other adults,” the lawsuit states.
In February 2023, a judge ruled that the FCS board violated Hair and Martin’s constitutional rights and must pay $100,000 in legal fees.
Despite these particular books’ inappropriate content, parents’ ongoing pleas for the taxpayer-funded district to stop supplying pornographic material to children, and the district’s expensive legal defeat, multiple problematic books were eventually approved to return to school shelves, along with more than half a dozen other titles for high schools, after review by a committee.
The Biden administration’s OCR investigation and demand for a mea culpa from FCS over its decision to pull bad books is likely only going to deter the district from taking any further drastic action when it comes to porn and inappropriate content in schools.
FCS parents, Martin reassured The Federalist, are not deterred.
“Wake up parents,” Martin said.
You must be logged in to post a comment.