Natrona Parents Speak Against Committee Decision Against Book Banning
At the Natrona County School Board meeting on Monday, several members representing the group Moms For Liberty came to speak against the announced decision by a district committee that chose to keep the two books.
The book review committee released an oral decision at the beginning of September saying that they won't take any action in regards to the two books brought to their attention, Gender Queer, by Maia Kobabe, and another book.
The committee has 30 days to release their written opinion, at which point the school board will decide what if any additional action they will take.
The issue that groups like Moms For Liberty take with Gender Queer, which discusses the author's journey exploring their gender identity and sexuality, is that it features some images that include nude characters doing sexual acts.
At the meeting, four people came up to speak specifically about the decision of the book committee, saying that they disagree with the decision against getting rid of the books and that they don't understand how the books brought up aren't obscene.
Another person came up to ask whether the school district will put police officers outside Fort Casper Academy, also mentioned that she disagreed with the books being in schools because she is a Christian.
Mike Pyatt said, after citing several legal cases that have to do with obscenity, that the school board needs to change the policy in order to ban the books in question.
"I think one of the attorneys commented, 2% may be too much for one person, not for another, depending on the person...It doesn't matter whether it's a cartoon or a picture, it can be pornographic," Pyatt said. "So Potter said he knew it when he saw it. My question is, can't you see it, and can't your librarians see it? I think she should be able to understand what it is. So I hope your moral compass would be readjusted and see that and speak out and change that policy."
Rene Reading said that if the board isn't going to address the books then parents should be concerned about the members of the board.
"A few months ago, mothers brought these books to you, and they were trying to educate you on what these books contained, and you shut them down, saying the content was too inappropriate for this meeting," Reading said. "One trustee even had the audacity to say that they weren't acting Christian-like. Well, I'm letting you know, over the coming months, we'll see who is going to be Christian. These books are too inappropriate for adults, what makes you think they aren't for our children? If you aren't concerned about what these children are seeing, then we as parents must ask the question, should we worry about this school board?"
Trustee Clark Jensen said at the end of the meeting that while it isn't a perfect solution, parents are able to request that their children won't be able to take out specific books.