A Georgia mother reading a passage from a book available in district school libraries was cut off by a board member who protested that the passage was “inappropriate” for children to hear.
Cherokee County school board member Patsy Jordan told the mother, “Excuse me, we have children at home,” when the parent read an explicit passage from the book “Homecoming.” The award-winning book about slavery is available at four high school libraries in the district, which is just north of Atlanta.
In an exchange that went viral and should be used for generations to come as Exhibit A for irony, the parent exclaimed, “You’re saying exactly what I’m telling you! You’re giving this to our children!”
The parent was then told that her time was up. A spokesperson for the district said the parent has no high school children in the district and was admonished to stop reading because children under high school age have access to the live stream of the meeting. Video of the meeting was also posted the next day on the district website.
The Cherokee Tribune and Herald reported another protester was escorted from the meeting by law enforcement for exclaiming that the School Board Chair should be arrested.
Instances of parents expressing concern about what their children are being taught and exposed in schools have become so prevalent that the Georgia Senate last week passed a bill protecting those parents’ rights.
Among other provisions, SB 588 provides that people cannot be removed from public meetings except for “actual disruptions.”
Opponents of increasing parental involvement in schools — another glaring example of irony — are fond of charging that it’s only conservative parents who object to inappropriate material made readily available to their children. This story shows that there’s more commonality on this issue than some are willing to acknowledge.
To be clear, the tired accusation of “banning books” is highly inaccurate. These books may be purchased online and from bookstores by anyone, and parents are more than free to give their children any reading material they wish — short of porngraphy.
No, what the Cherokee County parents object to is having the school district provide their children with inappropriate material, which is hardly the role of taxpayer supported schools. And having the school board tell a mother that the material is too obscene to be read aloud in their presence confirms the mother’s point in CAPS and bold print.