Missouri parents wanted 'naughty books' removed from libraries — school officials voted to keep them
A group of seven Cameron, Missouri residents are demanding that the local school board removes a list of "naughty books" from school library shelves, The Christian Post reports.
"Three of the group's members, Dan Landi, Heath Gilbert and Colleen Hardy, spoke with The Christian Post," according to the report, about their efforts and the roadblocks they encountered," noting that "Gilbert is the only one with a child attending school in the district."
Per The Christian Post, the residents allege that the Cameron R-1 School District, which is located in the Kansas City Metropolitan area, of "misleading them about the presence of what they say are sexually explicit books in school libraries and keeping them in the dark about the process it undertakes to review such materials."
Gilbert told the news outlet, "I went to the school district twice, asking how I could get into the library because I was concerned about the books I was seeing in the news, and they stonewalled me and wouldn't give me an answer."
The parents "discussed the most concerning aspects of the books as 'very graphic depictions that read like a textbook of acts of deviant sex, the normalization of sex outside of marriage, pedophilia' as well as 'bestiality' and 'the normalization of drugs' and 'abortion,'" claiming "that there are rape, graphic depictions of violence and 'promotion of racist ideas'" and "grooming" in some of the books.
Cameron R-1 School District Superintendent Matt Robinson said in a statement to The Christian Post, "The district has been in the process of reviewing books via our internal selection and reconsideration process set forth in board policy, in light of the concerns of patrons, bearing in mind not only the criteria in our policy but also the restrictions set forth under RSMo 573.550."
The statement continued, "The district has also utilized its book review committee process under Board of Education policy with regard to specific submitted concerns, but has temporarily suspended that process in order for the board to determine the best course of action for moving forward to ensure first, that parents and guardians have authority to determine what library materials are accessible to their own students, and second, how to ensure that the district is providing appropriate access for students whose parents desire a broader selection of materials."
According to the report, "The committee in charge of the book reviews, which consists of the high school principal, assistant principal, librarian, an English teacher and a parent from the district, has only reviewed five books in the Cameron High School library so far. Another five are currently under review."
"The committee," The Christian Post reports, "voted 3-2 to retain all five books in the high school library with no restrictions. The committee also voted to allow the library at Cameron Veterans Middle School to retrain three books without restrictions while letting it retain one book with restrictions."
Christian Post reports:
The way each member of the committee voted remains unknown to the public. Gilbert described the secrecy of the committee's vote as a 'violation of the Missouri Sunshine Law,' stressing that 'this should be an open record and the vote should be public record.'
While the concerned citizens have submitted Sunshine Law requests, the school district has insisted that 'the official committee's vote is not subject to our Sunshine Law,' an assertion he characterized as 'not true.' The district later reversed course and promised that committee votes would be 'public record' going forward.
The Christian Post's full report is available at this link.
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