We need a ‘how to’ guide for removing inappropriate books

Parents who want to retain the right to be parents need a pragmatic and reasonable playbook for getting inappropriate books out of schools, and a best practices guide on how to challenge new book selections for libraries or curriculums going forward.

Labeled by the left as “book bans,” you’d think it is some sort of despicable act to block opportunities for a child to see smut. Rather than, you know, doing things a good and responsible parent would do.

But when the leftist media covers a story about parents trying to be parents, their actions are villainized.

Why is it controversial for parents to insist that they should be allowed to review and potentially remove books that to any reasonable person, should not be seen or read by kids? Why would anyone think they have the right to force the availability of these kinds of books to our children? Is it because we are sending our kids to state-run schools where citizen control is being usurped by political movements?

It shouldn’t be a surprise that inappropriate books find their way into classrooms or libraries. For all the dedicated and well-intentioned educators, all it takes is one teacher with a different ideology to try and inculcate new ideas into our kids’ minds.

School boards could take the initiative to make sure schools are settings focused on academics rather than laboratories of liberal activism. The Leavenworth school district recently approved a new policy (on a 4-3 vote) that placed some very basic restrictions on books and other materials.

Here are the lists of restricted materials in Leavenworth district’s “Curriculum, Media Center, classroom library, and supplemental library curriculum policy regarding use and selection of nudity and sexual content:”

Elementary and Classroom Library:

     No materials in elementary curriculum, media center collection or supplemental curriculum libraries shall contain:

  1. Visual or visually implied depictions of sexual acts or simulations of such acts
  2. Explicit written descriptions of sexual acts
  3. Non-explicit written descriptions of sexual acts, except for the purposes of teaching students to avoid and report molestations, or
  4. Visual depictions of nudity or implied nudity
  5. Gender identity or sexual orientation.  No materials in elementary libraries shall contain materials referencing or providing instruction on gender identity or sexual orientation.
    Middle School and Classroom Library:

     No materials in middle school curriculum, media center collection or supplemental curriculum libraries shall contain:

  1. Visual or visually implied depictions of sexual acts or simulations of such acts
  2. Explicit written descriptions of sexual acts, or
  3. Visual depictions of nudity, not including diagrams for educating about anatomy for science and health instructions, breastfeeding, or classical works of art.

In selecting library materials for middle school students, the selectors shall seek to prioritize the selection of materials that do not contain other sexualized content, even though permitted, such as non-explicit written description of sexual acts or implied nudity.

High School Library
  No materials in high school curriculum, media center collection or supplemental curriculum libraries shall contain: 

  1. Visual or visually implied depictions of sexual acts or simulations of such acts.
  2. Explicit written descriptions of sexual acts.

In selecting library materials for high school students, the selectors shall seek to prioritize the selection of materials which do not contain other sexualized content, even though permitted, such as visual depictions of nudity.

These policies are still too lenient, but the pro-smut mob would say these policies are bad for education. The smut lobby needs to be asked if they think there should be any limits or restrictions on books and classroom materials for kids? If so, where would they draw the line? Why shouldn’t parents and their elected voices on school boards be allowed to serve as the main decision makers in what their children see or learn?

Is anyone working on this? Are there other school districts in Kansas who have tackled this subject? The topic has been discussed on the community level in St. Marys, at the state school board level, and by state legislators, but every time, the leftist media has gone on the attack against them. Why?

Dan Thalmann is the owner/publisher of the Washington County News and is a Past President of the Kansas Press Association. He has won numerous journalism awards in many categories over the years, including multiple awards as the best mid-sized weekly newspaper in Kansas.

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