Around the country, states and school boards are enacting book policies. They are attempting to save publications that have been judged unsuitable for youngsters. When a parent attempted to speak at a recent board meeting in Alaska, officials got into an argument.
On February 7, a father addressed the Anchorage School Board about a book that students had access to at school. According to the Daily Mail, Jay McDonald objected to “Let’s Talk About It,” a graphic novel by Erika Moen and Matthew Nolan. The book answers questions that children may have about sex, relationships, sexting, and other topics. It is aimed for youths aged 14 to 17.
•Jay McDonald spoke about library books with a diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) agenda during Anchorage School Board meeting, held on February 7— Gabriel Comer (@ComerGabriel) February 17, 2023
•Upon being awarded the floor, the father read from a passage of one of the books recently added to https://t.co/MzKnKcE26p… https://t.co/EUhzqpjRwO
When McDonald took the floor, he began reading sections from the book, including one in which nude images are referred to as “naughty masterpieces.” Carl Jacobs, the vice president of the school board, interrupted the father’s speech halfway through.
Jacobs told McDonald that he would link him with the superintendent so that the father could handle the problem through the proper procedures. The father said he’d “appreciate it” if the official didn’t interrupt him while he was speaking. McDonald was told again by the board president that he would be referred to the superintendent. Because his children are homeschooled, it’s unclear where the parent received the book. He didn’t say whether any schools had that book on their shelf.
Dave Donley, another board member, assured the president that the father had not broken any regulations. Jacobs stated that he could override him, but that McDonald should go through the proper mechanisms already in place to deal with such a circumstance. Donley went on to appeal Jacobs’ ruling, another member seconded the motion, and it was taken to the entire board for a vote. The board decided 5-2 to maintain the president’s decision to disconnect the father.
Jacobs inquired if McDonald had any other comments. The father continued to protest to similar materials. He demanded to know if turning him off was a violation of the First Amendment. McDonald stated that he believed the board was attempting to conceal the content that the children were exposed to in school.