It’s no secret that public schools have changed the content of education over the past decades. But what many parents may not be aware of is that the school library is also changing, and not for the better. While you may expect your child to pick up a Dr. Seuss book or a picture book on George Washington, your child is being exposed to some wildly inappropriate content.
A quick search of the Fort Worth ISD library catalog for the keyword “transgender” reveals 98 different records totaling almost 275 copies of books! Nearly half of the copies have been acquired by Fort Worth ISD since the beginning of 2016 – three months after Superintendent Kent Scribner’s arrival.
The titles range from Rethinking Normal: A Memoir In Transition, Coming Out As Transgender and Transphobia: Deal With It And Be A Gender Transcender to Transgender Role Models And Pioneers, Transgender Rights And Protections, and Identifying As Transgender. These books don’t include many others found by searching the terms “gender identity” and “LGBT.”
In an article entitled The Great Debate: What is “Appropriate” for Public School Libraries?, author Linsey Milillo writes:
“While not a parent, I can understand the Lovin’s concern. Having just finished Just One Day, I would concur that it probably is not the best choice for a sixth grader. The story, characters and themes are meant for a more mature audience—appropriate for a mature middle school or high school student. It is certainly their right to revoke their child’s access this title; however, it is beyond their reach to expect the district to pull the title from shelves. They should not regulate what is appropriate for other readers or parents.”
The book that instigated this discussion was Gayle Forman’s Just One Day, when parents of a student “called for the title to be removed from Rosemount-Apple Valley-Eagan libraries, citing adult themes such as a graphic sexual encounter, underage drinking and date rape as reasons for the removal. Forman’s novel centers on Allyson, a teenager, who spends a romantic day with a mysterious actor and later decides to spend her summer vacation returning to Europe to find him.”
A committee made up of parents, students, and school staff voted to keep the book in the school library. Read the full article here at Intellectual Freedom Blog.
In Napa Valley, California school libraries are trading print books for digital content.
“Today, there is no budget for new printed books at the high school libraries, said MacMillan. Some books are donated by alumni groups or others. Instead, library funds are used to buy access to a wide variety of databases such as Gale, e-books and other digital resources.”
But online content is also biased, revisionist, and not completely reliable. Just take a look at my search for “inventors” on Google.
The Knowledge Keepers Bookstore is here to help you create your own library. Check out our ever-changing selection of titles and keep the good, old print books in the hands of your family!