A rock star group of 30 parents stood up for their beliefs, as everyone in America is entitled to do. They put together this list of books and sent it to their district.
Here is the list they sent to the district:
Here is the letter that was sent:
We are cautiously optimistic that this email addresses an issue where administrators and parents can find mutual common ground and understanding. Prior to Canyons School District pulling some books from their libraries for further review based on obscene and sexually explicit content, we had begun compiling a list of books in Murray that also contain sexually explicit passages and pictures using the District's online catalog: https://destiny.murrayschools.org/. Soon we began to realize that we weren't just dealing with a handful of books - there are dozens and dozens of sexually explicit books in the libraries, especially Murray High, but also the other schools. The non-exhaustive list of over 100 books is attached. As you will see, the attachment contains quotes, passages, excerpts, scenes and pictures that are in many cases downright obscene and disgusting, contain graphic descriptions of rape, downplay pedophilia, encourage sexual obsession and pornography addiction, and groom children to question their gender. We stopped at about 100 or so books - only because we had to stop somewhere and we were tired of wading through filth.
The attached document lists many books, in MCSD libraries, that have no place in the hands of a child and attempt to normalize deviant behavior and attitudes. ****WARNING: THE ATTACHED DOCUMENT CONTAINS GRAPHIC AND EXPLICIT DESCRIPTIONS OF SEX, SEXUAL VIOLENCE, AND OBSCENE LANGUAGE.
Our goal is not to ban books. We want children to expand their minds and have access to resources expressing many different viewpoints, cultures, and ideas. We don't want books removed just because we may disagree or dislike certain ideas, theories, or philosophies. However, at the end of the day, these are our children that we have entrusted into your care. It is our duty to protect them from pornography and explicit descriptions of rape, gratuitous sex, sex between teenagers, incest, bestiality, and body parts in school libraries. Taxpayer money should not be wasted on crude and disgusting smut with little literary or educational value.
The District seems to be very committed to school safety and Digital and Online safety - as evidenced by regular trainings. Is it not equally important for our children to be protected from sexually explicit garbage, that is not age-appropriate, sitting right at their fingertips on the shelves of our school libraries? We want to be clear that we are not pointing fingers at anyone in particular. Many of these books are likely being pushed into our schools from outside sources and we are giving the benefit of the doubt to librarians and others who likely do not have the time to read every book that is approved. Despite the media's rhetoric to the contrary, our school board, administration and librarians do have, and should exercise, the power to make decisions that protect children by limiting their access to inappropriate materials. Supreme Court decisions have made that clear.
We are requesting that: 1) you review the attachment and remove those books that are obviously not appropriate to be in the hands of minors, pursuant to Utah Code 76-10-1203; 2) this review takes place before we submit a separate challenge form with respect to each book; and 3) after you remove the obviously offensive books, we then submit challenge forms for any additional books we feel should be removed, but were not. Although many of these books would be offensive even to adults, we ask that you look at these books from the eyes of a child.
We want to work together, not to grandstand or to ban books, but to do a thoughtful, thorough review that puts children first and protects them from dangerous images, harmful content, and over-sexualized agendas. At some point, it would be nice to open a dialogue about the process/system for the selection of books, including additional, worthwhile books that could be in our libraries. But first, let's focus on removing the obviously pornographic and sexually explicit books.
USBE says "there's no way to protect student privacy."
As the Standards & Assessment Committee discussed what guidance should prevail in Utah regarding Gender Identity, one very critical issue was brought up as a disclaimer: Under the current Administration's interpretation of the law, a school cannot guarantee the privacy of students in gender assigned restrooms, locker rooms, changing rooms, hotel rooms, etc.
Here is the link to the meeting:
At the one hour and 19-minute mark, USBE Board Members discuss the current interpretation of Title 9 by the current administration.
Here's what was said:
"The purpose of our guidance document is to keep our teachers and schools out of legal trouble, so we need to reflect the current legal landscape. We may not agree with that and there may be things that need to be looked at and that need to be done on another scale to try to address some of those things, but we need to look at the current legal landscape we need to look at what OCR (Office for Civil Rights) is telling us because that's what's going to be enforced right now in our schools and our guidance document can't be aspirational it has to be practical. It has to be here's what needs to happen in our schools to make sure we comply with the law as it is today." Board Member Hansen
"Title 9 is being interpreted a certain way and that there is really no guarantee of privacy, and schools and districts need to be aware of that based on the current atmosphere. I just think we put out a [statement] 'Let me just be clear that this is where the current atmosphere is so you can't be guaranteed this [privacy], so just be aware of that, parents and educators." -Board Member Earl
"This is a gray area of law, there's not a lot of guidance, this is how the law is being interpreted right now. If we don't know then we should say we don't know. We have to be accurate in what is happening in the courts what's happening with OCR [Office of Civil Rights], so we can give our schools the best chance to be compliant and that may be the case, that we have to say, there is no expectation of privacy because of the way the law is being interpreted. I think we have to lay that out." -Board Member Hansen
If this is concerning, or confusing to you, you can contact your USBE Representative and ask him/her to explain it to your further and ask them to consider accommodations that provide single user bathrooms and changing areas with locks.
You can also contact your Legislators and explain your concerns and ask for a backpack bill that will allow you to take your money and apply it to an educational setting where you have more say and control of your child's privacy and safety.