May 16, 2024

Isaac Bailey: Horry County school board members should find their spines

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Writing for The State in South Carolina, Isaac Bailey calls out Moms for Liberty anti-reading tactics.

Moms for Liberty, which has long pretended it is just about protecting the precious little children, showed its hand recently. The group petitioned the Horry County Board of Education to ban a book that had been available only for adults. The board dutifully and cowardly went along. The book was “Freedom Writers Diary” by Erin Gruwell. The board also banned “Crown of Midnight” by Sarah Maas and put “Heir of Fire” by Maas on a list that requires parental permission.

It was the first time the board overruled the District-Level Media Material Review Committee, a group designated to review challenged books. The committee wanted “Heir of Fire” to remain in circulation, “Crown of Midnight” to require parental permission, and “Freedom Writers Diary” banned. Moms for Liberty did what it always does, claim that “the graphic nature” of the books, especially “those depicting sexual context raises serious concerns about the suitability for our young students,” as Horry County Moms for Liberty chairman David Warner put in his complaint to the committee and the board.

I asked Warner how a book designated for adults could be dangerous to “our young students.” “I do not believe that the sexually explicit material in ‘The Freedom Writers’ book makes a teacher better informed to teach his or her students,” he said. “Ensuring children are shielded from inappropriate content extends to examining the teacher training and resources used in schools. It’s important for us to question educational materials to safeguard our children’s learning environment.”

Read the full op-ed here. 

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