Move over critical race theory and face masks, the latest trend in right-wing fascism seeks to throw librarians in jail for including sex ed books and other material deemed “pornographic” on their shelves.
October 6, 2021

AP reports that Campbell County, Wyoming prosecutors are seeking a special prosecutor to decide whether its public library officials should be charged for scheduling a transgender magician to perform for youngsters (since canceled) and for shelving sex ed books:

The books are “This Book is Gay” by Juno Dawson, “How Do You Make a Baby” by Anna Fiske, “Doing It” by Hannah Witton, “Sex is a Funny Word” by Corey Silverberg, and “Dating and Sex: A Guide for the 21st Century Teen Boy” by Andrew P. Smiler, according to Susan Sisti, a local pastor who has been raising concerns about those and other books in the library.

“It’s really easy to go into the library and look around a little bit and find a filthy book that should not even be in a public library,” said Sisti, pastor of Open Door Church in Gillette. “These books are absolutely appalling.”

It’s not just Wyoming, either. The Daily Beast reports that this is part of a new trend: “attempts to have librarians or school board officials criminally prosecuted because of books some parents deem inappropriate.”

For example, Leander, Texas:

In Leander, near Austin, at least three people filed police complaints over a high school library stocking Lawn Boy by author Jonathan Levison, which includes descriptions of a sexual encounter between two fourth-grade boys. In September, the Leander Police Department told a local TV station that it was investigating the material in the book.

TDB author Will Sommer correctly notes that school and public libraries already have policies and procedures for the public to challenge materials (I know, because I’m a former public librarian). But social media is sparking hysteria:

The new waves of outrage over certain books appear to be driven by social media, according to PEN America’s [Jonathan] Friedman, with a popular video of a tense school board about a book controversy in one area prompting parents in another town to see if their libraries stock a challenged book themselves. But the social media attention can create some mix-ups — in one school, for example, parents criticized author Gary Paulsen’s Lawn Boy, confusing it for Levison’s identically named book.

If parents don’t want their children reading certain books, there’s an easy solution: don’t let them, the same way parents would supervise a kid’s TV or movie viewing. But to try to arrest librarians or school board officials for presenting a wide selection of materials that other kids and parents might embrace is downright un-American.

And by the way, righties, you might want to check out how easy it is for your kids to access real porn on the internet before you start trying to lock up librarians. That is, unless arresting anyone with a different view is the real game.

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