A Florida school board cut off the microphone of a concerned father during a meeting when he tried to read lines from certain books being offered in school libraries.
Bruce Friedman, who serves as is the president of the Florida chapter of No Left Turn in Education, was speaking to the Clay County School District board. He told them he wanted to discuss the “process” that goes into choosing books for school libraries.
He said he wanted to highlight a series of books that had made it into the library in the area, including “Lucky” by Alice Sebold, the story of the horrible rape of a college girl told with graphic details, as well as “A Court of Silver Flames” by Sarah J. Maas and “Triangles” by Ellen Hopkins.
The education activist expressed his concern about the pornographic nature of the aforementioned books before pulling out a copy of “Lucky” and beginning to read a graphic scene.
Friedman warned the audience, “If there’s children watching, cover your ears.”
As he began the portion, Friedman’s microphone was cut off. He then asked the board why he had been silenced.
One of the members spoke up, saying, “The problem is, sir, that these meetings are broadcast, there are people at home that are watching it on YouTube. There are people that are watching it on community television.’
The board member continued: “There are federal and state laws that prohibit you from saying the things that you’re getting out to say on television. There are state laws that prohibit in federal communications laws that prohibit you from publishing these things to a child. You don’t have the ability at this point to determine who’s watching the television show. And for you to say, “everybody cover your ears” just doesn’t cut it.”
Despite the school board cutting off Mr Friedman, one of the other members expressed his sympathy with his concerns, saying “I get where you are coming from.”
Hearing the statement as an invitation, Friedman then picked up his posterboard presentation with excerpts from various books in local school libraries and placed it right in front of the sympathetic board member.
Concern over the graphic nature of books in school libraries has become a big issue at school board meetings in recent years. Many parents believe they are inappropriate, while others argue they shouldn’t censor literature. Do you agree with Friedman that the books went too far or were they right to cut him off?