Parents accuse school district of exposing kids to sexually explicit content in library books

Written by on August 11, 2021

By Nicole Alcindor, CP Contributor

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Parents have expressed their outrage with a school district in Indiana that has reportedly allowed libraries in its elementary, middle and high schools to have books that have explicit sex scenes and elaborate on masturbation and transgender identity. 

Angry parents spoke during a Carmel Clay School Board meeting late last month about several books available to students at district libraries that they say contain explicit content, according to local news reports.  

Parents took turns reading excerpts aloud from some of the books.

“If I were to read it to you, you wouldn’t be able to air it because it would be against FCC obscenity laws,” parent Alvin Lui was quoted as saying, according to Fox 59. 

The Western Journal reports that one parent at the meeting listed off several book titles available to the school children. 

These include Introducing Teddy: A Gentle Story About Gender and Friendship, a book about a stuffed bear named “Teddy” who struggles with his gender and wishes to be called “Tilly.”

Another title is Sparkle Boy, which focuses on a cross-dressing toddler. In Call Me Max, a kindergarten girl asks a teacher to refer to her by a male name. 

One parent reportedly read from a novel available to high school students that includes a pornographic scene that describes characters having sex. Another parent raised an issue with the book It’s Perfectly Normal: Changing Bodies, Growing Up, Sex, and Sexual Health, who alleged it teaches kids who to masturbate. The book is promoted by Planned Parenthood as appropriate for ages 10 and up. 

“[The] global campaign to promote sexualized material to grade school children which are heralded by the U.N., championed by Planned Parenthood and is now making its way into the Carmel schools,” one parent reportedly said to the board. 

Other parents argued that it’s inappropriate for young students to be discussing these topics with anyone but their parents. 

“You have lost sight of your responsibilities to educate our children,” another parent told the board, according to Fox 59. “Parents are learning, watching, and taking action.”

Superintendent Michael Beresford told parents that the school district had heard previous concerns about the books promoting transgender identities but that it was the first time he had heard concerns about books featuring sexually explicit content, according to Fox 59. 

He assured that the school would look into every book title mentioned at the board meeting. 

“Some of the books they mentioned aren’t on our rolls that we have,” Beresford was quoted as saying. “We are going into the buildings and looking into the buildings to make sure.”

“We have a procedure for that,” Beresford added. “One part of the procedure is the superintendent can direct advisory council. So, we’re going to [do] that.”

In recent years, there have been complaints from parents nationwide about content in schools they deem to be too “explicit,” some promoting LGBT causes and others exposing children to inappropriate topics. 

In June, a mother in Illinois spoke out during a local school board meeting over the state’s controversial sex education standards that she believes “sexually grooms young children by introducing sensitive and inappropriate topics.”

The mother shared elements of the state’s curriculum that come from the National Sex Education Standards that she contends will force students to learn about things like masturbation and anal sex before they become teenagers. 

A private school teacher in New York City resigned earlier this year amid backlash after reports indicated that she showed 6-year-olds a cartoon video explaining that it’s OK for them to touch themselves for pleasure.

That teacher, Justine Ang Fonte, had led what reports called a “porn literacy” class at another New York City prep school earlier in her career. 

According to The New York Times, Fonte’s classes were in line with the National Sex Education Standards and the World Health Organization’s International Technical Guidance on Sexuality Education.

“I equip them with a way that they can exercise body agency and consent, by knowing exactly what those parts are, what they are called, and how to take care of them,” Fonte told the New York Times last month. “That was paired with lessons around, what are the different ways to say ‘no’? And what’s the difference between a secret and a surprise? And why you should never have a secret between a grown-up and you. Because it’s never your responsibility as a child to hold a secret or information of a grown-up.”

The current National Sex Education Standards include seven main topics deemed the minimum requirement for sex education. Those seven topics are consent and healthy relationships, anatomy and physiology, puberty and adolescent sexual development, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation and identity, sexual health and interpersonal violence.  

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