On Nov. 3, Flagler County School Board member Jill Woolbright met for her usual scheduled session with Superintendent Cathy Mittelstadt. Woolbright this time requested that School Board attorney Kristy Gavin be present.
At the meeting, Woolbright raised objections about four books circulating in Flagler County school libraries. She wanted them pulled. The books are “The Hate You Give,” “All Boys Aren’t Blue,” “Speak” and “Stamped: Racism, Antiracism and You.” Three of the books are by Black authors. One is about the police shooting of an unarmed Black teen. One is about the traumatic effects of a rape and its aftermath on a teen girl. One is about growing up Black and queer. And one is, as its title states, about racism. All four have been critically acclaimed as books for teens, some either winning or getting short-listed from some of the literary world’s top awards. (See more detailed descriptions of the books below.)
Woolbright, who gave no indication of having read any of the books or known about them previously, claimed that some “constituents” had raised concerns about the books. She did not name any. At board meetings, Woolbright frequently refers to “people” and “some” and “constituents” whose complaints or concerns but rarely if ever substantiates the complaints beyond that vagueness, or the occasional name.
But those same books are on a frequent-flier list of books currently facing challenges or bans across the country, the titles gaining notoriety through social media memes and out-of-context quotes from the book’s more suggestive passages. While some of the passages are explicit, depicting sex as either trauma, discovery or both, none are prurient, gratuitous, obscene or pornographic. None, for example, approach the violence and prurience of Popeye’s rape of 17-year-old Temple with a corncob in Faulkner’s “Requiem for a Nun,” following which Popeye pimps out the girl so he can watch. None include the copious use of the N-word and the latent racism of Twain’s “Huckleberry Finn.” None approach the irony of the “Nausicaa” episode in James Joyce’s “Ulysses,” where Leopold Bloom masturbates to Gerty MacDowell’s leg. None quite approximate the male brutality, serial rape and police-state themes of “The Handmaid’s Tale.” Those books, all by white authors, three of them male and dead, are frequent, never-noticed titles on high school reading lists.
There are no indications that Woolbright–who is running for re-election in 2022–is representing anything more than either herself or a handful of constituents, if that. No parents have filed a book challenge at either high school or the middle schools.
Never in the Flagler County school district’s history has a book been challenged or banned, according to Gavin, at least on the district level.
Woolbright now has.
She has done so without quite respecting policy. By policy, a book challenge must be filed in writing by the complainant, and it must be filed starting at the school level where the book in question is located. The district is actually the first appeal level.
Four years ago Woolbright would not have had standing to bring a challenge to a book (as opposed to challenging the book-challenge policy, which is entirely in her right if she has support to do so on the board: that’s what next week’s workshop will explore). Until 2017, when a book was challenged, it was not only required to go through a school committee first, but the challenge had to be filed by a parent or guardian with a child at that school. In other words, any person off the street could not challenge a book that happens to be on a shelf in a library, simply because that person objects. Otherwise any mercenary motive by anyone anywhere could lead to a challenge at any school. There had to be standing.
The law changed in 2017, giving any parents or residents of the county the right to challenge: “Each district school board must adopt a policy regarding an objection by a parent or a resident of the county to the use of a specific instructional material, which clearly describes a process to handle all objections and provides for resolution.” That’s what gives Woolbright standing–not her role as board member, though she clearly used her role as a board member to go directly to the superintendent.
The superintendent and the attorney took the Woolbright complaint as such only because Gavin was documenting it in writing. But Woolbright herself did not even file it–until she filed it in a more oblique sense, by filing a complaint with the Flagler County Sheriff’s Office against Mittlestadt on Wednesday (Nov. 10), because Woolbright was upset that Mittlestadt had not informed the other board members.
“Jill advised the reason she contacted the Flagler County Sheriff’s Office is because the superintendent has not notified the other school board members,” the sheriff’s report filed on Nov. 9 states, using the Sheriff’s Office’s customary habit of referring to complainants by their first name. “Jill was advised by the school board attorney that the other board members would be made aware. As of today’s date, Jill advised the other school board members have not been made aware by an email.”
But administrators are barred by law from being conduits of information between board members, especially on matters that may be up for a vote, as book-challenge and book-banning policies may well be. Board members are free to email memos or cc emails to other board members, as long as there is no back and forth conversation, or anything that may be construed as an exchange, outside of an open, noticed meeting. The superintendent had not informed other board members yet since the investigation had not concluded. Normally, there is a 14-day period for a challenge to be addressed.
Woolbright in her complaint to the sheriff “states it is a crime to have the book in the media centers,” according to the complaint, “and believes there are other books with similar content. Jill believes whoever is responsible for allowing the books into the Flagler County Schools media centers should be held accountable.”
Woolbright, Gavin said, is basing her assessment on two sections of Florida law (read them here and here) that define what may be legal and not legal in students’ hands. The definition under one section of law is so broad as to potentially encompass any depiction of sex in any book. A more precise definition in another section of law seeks to define “obscenity,” focusing on prurience and specific depictions of, say, erections, public hair and so on, but the depiction must be “lewd and lascivious,” itself a subjective term that nevertheless considerably narrows the window for those peeping for objections.
“It’s going to be the committee that’s going to take a look as to whether or not” the books are violating the law, Gavin said, “and it’s specific to the community. What may be acceptable for a community in California, it may not be acceptable for a community in Florida or or in Idaho.”
A school-based committee would consist of teachers, administrators and media specialists. Since Woolbright circumvented that–and the superintendent and attorney are apparently allowing the circumvention–the challenge will be handled at the district level by the curriculum department, which is headed by LaShakia Moore. It will involve members of her department and reading specialists. The decision is then rendered to the superintendent. The decision may be appealed to the school board.
“The board members have been advised, they were advised yesterday of the concern,” Gavin said in an interview today, regarding Woolbright, acknowledging the delay. “Until we are aware whether we have an issue or not, to report to the other school board members whether there is an issue or not, the superintendent thought it was premature.”
Gavin noted that this type of book challenges are taking place across the state and the country, the challenges mirroring each other in tone and titles, while the district locally would apply its method of dealing with a challenge, unused though it’s been. “Not everything is immediate and urgent to be reported to the other board members.”
“Disingenuous,” School Board member Colleen Conklin said of Woolbright’s complaint. “All she had to do was send an email to Cathy thanking her for the meeting time and the discussion and looking forward to the outcome of her investigation and cc’d the board members. If she was so worried about the board members knowing, that’s a very simple thing she could have done.”
Woolbright did not respond to a request for an interview.
On Wednesday, Bobby Bossardet, the assistant superintendent, went to the FPC media center (the library), ordered the four titles pulled from circulation, asked–and received–the names of students who currently had any of the books checked out, and took a copy of each of the books to the district office for review.
The same four titles were also pulled from circulation at Matanzas High School. Buddy Taylor Middle School had some of the titles. They were also pulled. Indian Trails Middle School had none.
“What triggered Mr. Bossardet going to the school was when we found out about the police report being filed,” Gavin said.
Each of the books had numerous copies available to students at the two high school libraries, and some of the books were available at Buddy Taylor. By policy, Gavin said, once a title is challenged, it must be pulled from circulation pending the outcome of the investigation. That does not mean the book has been banned, or that it will be banned. But the policy states that the title may not be available to students either to borrow or consult at the library until the challenge is over.
Gavin said she has the name of the students who currently have checked out the books under challenge. “Those names are with me in my office, I haven’t even looked at that list, I don’t even care who the students are,” Gavin said. The names were gathered only in case the committee rules that a book is to be banned. If that happens, and some of the books have been checked out, then those students or their parents would be contacted to return the book.
The only previous book challenges, and there have been only two documented, took place at the school level.
One such took place almost a decade and a half ago, when Monica Campana was the librarian at Indian Trails school. “It was a parent who didn’t like a Walter Dean Myers book,” Campana said, speaking by phone from Charleston, S.C. She retired six years ago. The book, “Dope Sick,” from 2009, was “about a young couple in love trying to do the right thing, finish school, and the boy’s brother was a drug addict. There was a description in the story of him making some kind of drug in a spoon in the kitchen, and she did not like that. We had a policy in place, I’m thinking they still have it, it went to a committee, everyone had to read the book in its entirety, and the committee had to decide whether to take off the book from the shelves or not. It had won the Coretta Scott King Award. It’s really difficult to remove a book that’s won awards, because it has literary merit. She did not win the challenge.” The parent did not appeal the decision to the district.
“It turns out the woman had drug issues and that’s what she was scared of,” Campana said. “It’s fear.” Monica and her husband Cesar, who was also on the call, had just been discussing a news report they’d heard about “Speak,” one of the four books being challenged in Flagler, and which Cesar had taught for five years at FPC, where he was an English teacher, and frequently taught “The Catcher in the Rye,” once a favorite of book-banners for its explosions of “goddamn,” “hell,” “crap,” “ass” and its occasional lusts. (Campana had also been a football coach).
“I think any parent who wants to protest a book should be tested in that book to see if they’d read it,” Cesar Campana said, “and they should be tested on ‘Fahrenheit 451’ to see if they understand what can happen with these things.”
In 2010, FPC briefly banned performances of “To Kill a Mockingbird” in an FPC stage production, over vague concerns about the repeated use of the N-word. Then as now, the concerns were never substantiated beyond one or two people. Community outrage forced the district to retreat. The play was performed to great acclaim.
Monica Campana, a champion of access and the freedom to read in her decade and a half in the district, recalled a ritual: “The first time I saw a student, every single class I would say: there may be books in here that your parents do not want you to read, there may be books that offend you, and you have every right to return them,” she said. “But you do not have the right to tell the kids sitting next to you that they can’t read that book, if their families are OK with it.” Both Campanas made a distinction between assigned books–which may also be declined by a student who does not want to read them for whatever reason–and unassigned library books, which are not being forced in any way on any student, and would therefore have even less of a reason to be challenged.
The Four Books Jill Woolbright Is Challenging:
“The Hate You Give,” the 2017 Angie Thomas novel about a white police officer shooting an unarmed Black teen. The book debuted atop the New York Times Bestseller list, stayed there 50 weeks, was adapted as a movie the following year, and won over a dozen awards, including the Coretta Scott King Book Award and the National Book Award for young adults. Thomas is Black.
“All Boys Aren’t Blue,” a 2020 memoir by journalist and activist George M. Johnson about coming of age, family, bullies, gender identity, sexuality and race. The book is on the American Library Association’s Rainbow List, an annual list of ““books with significant gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender content, and which are aimed at youth, birth through age 18.” The title was also a Publishers Weekly pick for anti-racism. Johnson is Black.
“Speak” is a 1999 novel by Laurie Halse Anderson. Based on the author’s experience, it is about the rape of a high school freshman girl and its traumatic effects, which, among other things, cause her to be unable to speak. The book, routinely taught in Flagler County schools, was a 1999 National Book Award finalist, has won numerous awards, and has been among the books most often banned or challenged in American libraries since its publication. Anderson is white.
“Stamped: Racism, Antiracism and You” is a 2019 book novelist Jason Reynolds wrote in collaboration with Ibrahim X. Kendi, the writer and historian and founding director of the Boston University Center for Antiracist Research. Kendi had written “Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America” in 2016, when it won the National Book Award for non-fiction. The Reynolds-Keni book is a “remix” for children and is intended to start conversations about race. Reynolds and Kendi are Black.
An Excerpt from the “Losing My Virginity Twice” Chapter of George M. Johnson’s “All Boys Aren’t Blue”
There was so much excitement running through my body. This was much more than losing my virginity. For once, I was consenting to the sexual satisfaction of my body. This moment also confirmed that sex could look how I wanted it to look. And that it could be passionate and kind, but most importantly, fun and satisfying. His body felt great in my mouth.
I came up after a while and kissed him again. We both got up and went into his bedroom, where we got completely naked. He took off his clothes and immediately lay on his stomach. I then took off my shirt, and then my boxer briefs. I got behind him. There was moonlight coming through the shades of the dark room. Two Black boys under the glow of blue moonlight. How poetic, dare I say ironic?
Now, I was scared as hell. One, because I didn’t know what I was doing and clearly, he did. Two, because it was still college, and my fear of word getting out that I was inexperienced or bad in bed would have been too big of a campus rumor. Let alone that I was having sex with men and a friend of someone in my chapter.
For the first few minutes, we dry humped and grinded. I was behind him, with my stomach on his back as we kissed. After a few minutes of fun and games, he got up and went to his nightstand, where he pulled out a condom and some lube. He then lay down on his stomach. I knew what I had to do even if I had never done it before. I had one point of reference, though, and that was seven-plus years of watching pornography. Although the porn was heterosexual, it was enough of a reference point for me to get the job done.
I remember the condom was blue and flavored like cotton candy. I put some lube on and got him up on his knees, and I began to slide into him from behind. I tried not to force it because I imagined that it would be painful; I didn’t want this moment to be painful. So I eased in, slowly, until I heard him moan.
As we moved, I could tell he was excited—I was, too, but the pride in me told me not to show it. I felt like I was in control and proud of myself for getting it right on the first try—all the while still being nervous. I wanted to stay dominant in that moment. We went at it for about fifteen minutes before I started to get that feeling. Weakness in the legs, numbness in the waist. I finally came and let out a loud moan—to the point where he asked me to quiet down for the neighbors. I pulled out of him and kissed him while he masturbated. Then, he also came.
That night was glorious. I had conquered a fear and had sex with a man on my own terms. The years of suppressing my identity and not dating or kissing had all come down to this one magical night in an apartment on the outskirts of Richmond, Virginia. I didn’t want to leave, and he didn’t make me. I did, however, get up to make a phone call to one of my line brothers. I left him a voicemail saying that I had finally had sex.
Dennis C Rathsam says
These books belong in the high school….9th grade plus …Keep are children …children, dont teach hate.
Parents teach hate. And that’s exactly why these books need to be available.
The picture shows that her clothes are out of sync.
Mandatory dress code is hood and sheet, for her and one other on the School Board.
Joy Mullins says
What this article says to me is that this is more religious and race motivated actions than actual literary problems. Has she (Woolbright) even read these books? Has she bothered to nderstand the message or understand that some kids feel more comfortable about reading others’ stories than discussing their own problems.
By woolbright filing a police report just screams PETTY!!!!!
And just in case my comment shows my name, let me assure wveryone I am not related to anyone in this town or in this state.
Hell, I’m surprised these kids are reading actual printed books. Who cares what the content is. No different from the b.s. on social media and in movies. But I understand the cancel culture has to maintain the status quo.
Mary Howland says
Exactly!!! She should be worried about the things that go on on the school bathrooms! Does she not know about Google and what these kids can look-up? Whrn I was in school we had to read certain novels to graduate and they had rape, violence and racism. Anyone have to read the color purple? Anyone have to read roots?? Yeah, this lady is ridiculous. Taking my soon from public school was the best thing I did. The reason wasn’t for the books either!
Timothy Patrick Welch says
Adult topics, best left for family talks or discussions in therapy.
These themes have no place in public education. Just focus on the basics, growing up is hard enough without these burdens.
Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.
These books should be available to those who want to read them. If you don’t want your child reading it, don’t let them. But your conservative views don’t reflect everyone else’s views. This is another attempt to control education by conservative groups by limiting what’s available. If the parents had an issue with these books, why didn’t they address it? This woman went out of her way to circumvent the rest of the board to satisfy her own personal agenda.
Just a thought says
And they call liberals the cancel culture. This might be a little hypocritical.
It’s not hypocritical. It’s textbook gaslighting.
Another disgruntled old hag targeting books she hasn’t read only given to her by the handlers to be rid of in order to make their mark on the Commission
Edith Campins says
OMG! We are taking giant steps backwards. This is more than cancel culture, next they will be burning books. I guess she is trying to appeal to the Mc Donald crowd. Bet she can’t tell you what Critical Race Theory is either.
Old Guy says
Based on this excellent article and the book excerpt that was included, I would agree that “All Boys Aren’t Blue” should be under review. The school district has a procedure in place to evaluate books that have been objected to and it should be followed. If it is believed by any person that the procedure is flawed the that can be looked at as well. Circumventing the established procedure in an attempt to hurry up the desired result only causes more problems. Filing a police report to accomplish the same goal is a gross waste of police resources.
In my time at Matanzas, I’ve read far worse from a myriad of books in that library. I used to read dozens upon dozens of books in there on a yearly basis and a very significant amount of them had some sort of sexual theming or scenes involved. When you get into high school-level literature, sex is not a foreign concept. Why do you take issue with this particular book, out of curiosity? You’d be surprised to see some of the way more graphic passages from other books that have flown far under the radar in there.
Enough of this BS is enough. To allow a couple of people or even a small select group to determine what books will be allowed in a public school is archaic. In the 80’s I had a project for a structural renovation of a high school in Wyoming, seems as if someone forgot to add in the snow loads, oops. I digress, during a walk through I spied several boxes with many new books marked as being destined for the dumpster. Upon asking what was happening I learned that a teacher at the school had decided that these books were too controversial for high school students. A single teacher with no oversight. She must have had one heck of a case of coulrophobia. I have forgotten most of the titles but do recall that many were familiar – I was drawn to one in particular, IT by Stephen King. Having become a devote of Mr.King I sought the permission of the principal and took one of Mr. Kings latest efforts. My point is that when an individual is allowed to control literary opportunities of others, we have crossed the precipice of the maelstrom and will soon be sucked down to our destruction. This woman needs to be stopped. Just who does she think she is?
Oh yeah, that copy of IT turned out to be a first edition and after being read a dozen times and traveled from Wyoming to Alaska, Mexico, Indiana and finally Florida, it has been passed on to my niece who is a huge fan of Mr. King. And to think it could have been ground into a Wyoming landfill.
It’s almost Christmas. Let’s all pitch in and buy Jill Woolbright and some of her “constituents” a subscription to the “National Enquirer” as that seems to be appropriate reading material for asshats.
Jane Gentile-Youd says
I am so sorry I voted for this tyrant – she does not belong anywhere in a public school system with her demands that HER personal opinions be imposed on everyone she can control.
Casey Yerton says
It’s not her opinion. It’s Florida law. It outlines the definition of obscenity and it makes having it available to children illegal.
Patricia Costa says
No… it’s HER opinion, circumventing the rule of law. Follow due process!
“Obscenity” is an ever-shifting goal post centered around the whims of our governor who has decided he hates almost every minority group. You are going to end up with an extremely sheltered generation of adults with little to no exposure to real-world topics.
Bill C says
Jill Woolbright needs to add another book to her list of books that should be banned. In Genesis 19:36 KJV it says “thus were both the daughters of Lot with child by their father”
Casey Yerton says
The Bible does go into graphic sexual detail.
Exactly what I was thinking!
We just turned our clocks back one hour…
or…was it YEARS back?????????????//
The Bible offends me and makes me uncomfortable, let’s ban that Comic Book.
Timothy Patrick Welch says
My guess, is its already been removed.
Of course they don’t let them read the Bible in the schools, as it should be. Learning to deal with rape trauma is not education, sorry. Are that many people raped that we need to teach them all how to deal with it before it happens? Reading, writing and arithmetic. That’s what they need to be taught.
Statistics show that 1 in 6 US women will be raped annually in the US.
The figure is incorrect. The National Sexual Violence Resource Center reports that “One in five women in the United States experienced completed or attempted rape during their lifetime.” See the data brief here.
A. H. says
Sure, let’s let ALL books be allowed in our schools. How about ” Mein Kampf ” ? The little darlings need to have ALL the information on life and death.
The dude says
Woolbright and her idiot clown posse needs to focus on the actual job they were placed there to do… like make sure the fucking school busses run on time.
After they’ve done their actual fucking jobs, then comes time for stretch goals like book banning and cross burnings and usc…
Once the kids learn these books are being banned, there will be a run on book stores, Amozon and the library. When they tried to ban Catcher in the Rye years ago, every kid in my school decided it must be good reading.
Can she read? Just asking.
Is this the beginning of taking people of color rights away to read. Or to learn how to read. Bad bilks start from a few people who always want control of another group of peoples lives.
The book “All Boys Aren’t Blue” goes into graphic detail about sexual encounters. By the definition in the Florida statues, this is obscene and illegal to distribute to minors. The fact that people are on here advocating for providing obscene material to minors it disheartening. These same books could advocate for their positions without describing in detail sexual acts. Anyone who thinks kids should be reading these books is a danger to children in my opinion.
The commenter is mistaking “graphic” for “prurient,” and from there going to “obscene.” It’s a misreading of the law, which does not conflate the terms. The contested sections of “All Boys Aren’t Blue” may be graphic. By no definition could they be considered either obscene or prurient.
When I was attending FPC from 2002-2006 I can tell you there were novels that also had descriptions of sex, wet dreams, and other facts of life in the library. There was furor over books that had “too much description” of contraception or detailed acts of rape against the bodies of slaves (Toni Morrison, required reading in Ms. Orlando’s English Honors class), or graphic depictions of violence, or Anne Frank’s diary’s discussion of her self-discovery. Except many of those, like this book, were literary darlings with awards for the deep themes they explored and the light they shone into parts of history and human culture our non-English classes didn’t tell us about. Those books were protested by some parents who asked for alternatives, but that just made them more appealing and I definitely snuck some of them to my classmates. I read them at 15 and now I’m a successful medical professional.
These “children” see more hate, killings, porn, fights, gay this and that and abuse on TV, video games and their “smart phones” than any book will ever provide them. I say tell and teach the children the truth and stop hiding information from them as they already know more than you think.
Timothy Patrick Welch says
I agree that children and young adults have been exposed to things that just 50 years ago would have never been allowed.
Should not public schools be a safe wholesome places of learning were all students are encouraged to excel?
We don’t need to experiment with our children in public schools.
HORRIFIC! This is nothing short of extreme right winged, “nationally organized”, educational fascism, brought about by mindless cultural vigilantes! Of course Woolbright has not bothered to even read the books in question. She is riding the dangerous extremist Republican “culture war” wave that is threatening our very Democracy!
How is it that our entire Board of Education can be so easily cowed by the shouting madness of a cult that is controlled by a morally bankrupt, ruthless wanna be dictator and his brainwashing media empires?
If we do not voice our opposition NOW to the growing Fascism, with it’s tentacles of “control” in almost every area of our government, we may actually lose many of our precious freedoms and privacy. Read the very troubling article on Flaglerlive about the “Big Brother” spying that is happening via connection to the internet.
This is a call to ACTION! Contact your School Board members/BOCC/City Commissioners/Senators/Congressional Representatives/President and make your voices heard TODAY! This cannot wait till the next election! When that time comes. . . VOTE as if your “Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness” depends on it. . . IT DOES!
Mike Cocchiola says
Now we know! For those moderate Democrats, Republicans and NPAs who voted for Jill Woolbright over Vincent Lyons just to get a “former schoolteacher” on the school board, you voted for a radical cultural warrior who would censor books that might teach our students that discrimination exists and that Blacks, Muslims, Indigenous People and LGBTG+ are in fact human beings and citizens and should be respected as such. You voted for another Janet McDonald that would “cancel” science, history and literature and happily burn down our public schools and libraries.
Please attend the school board meeting this Tuesday (11/16) at 6:00 pm at the government services building. Stand up and speak up for knowledge and truth.
Stephen J Smith says
I read banned books. I make my own decision about what I read and will let no one tell me I can or can’t read. From such classics as “None dare call it treason” by the John Birch Society to “Fahrenheit 451” By Ray Bradbury. Both books discuss political and social possibilities that are ripe for discussion in modern times. It is for that reason I read. Books that raise questions or show a different perspective are necessary for developing an open mind. Without an open mind no progress can be made. This applies to social issues, and science. A closed mind leads to stagnation and decay.
Let’s, go back to segregation.then we can all get along. Problem solved.!
Timothy Patrick Welch says
Black organizations perpetuate segregation and are a form of racism aren’t they?
Until society chooses not to consider skin color but instead chooses excellence as the standard, we will continue to suffer.
Until white Christians stop their blatant bigotry, what choice do they have?
James M. Mejuto says
Congratulations to FlaglerLive for its incisive journalism regarding banning books. We should have learned our
lessons: Nazi Germany, KKKs, White Militia groups, trump lovers and many other examples polluting our country.
This is why we voters have to vet politicians and citizens who run for office. We must know exactly what a
candidate stands for and supports. We have to know party and business affiliations, education, compassion for the
community. We must know why a candidate takes a position and the voter must examine his/her integrity .
We must demand journalists do more when they investigate candidates. Generally, their reporting is poor
and incomplete and what’s more, they really don’t care!
This woman and a few others on the School Board should never have been elected !
The dude says
Just got today’s call from Flagler County Schools… Afternoon bus is running 30 minutes late… AGAIN.
30 minutes usually ends up being 50 or so… but since they retooled all the bus routes (literally the day before the first day of school) my daughter’s stop is 1/2 mile away, so I gotta be there.
Yet banning books is the priority?
What planet do the morons running Flagler County Schools inhabit?
The first rule in Goebbel’s playbook was to control the media and the arts, to make sure that Germans were fed Nazi ideology while censoring other information. In many countries, the educated and educators were targeted and removed. Books were banned and burned.
The only big difference I see between the alt right wing Americans of today and the Nazis of the 1930s is theology. The Nazis believed that religion was a threat to their total control. The far right Americans want the same type of total control but want to tuck it under the mantle of “Christianity”. They fail to recognize that America, deep in its constitution, was founded as a system of government that was to be completely separated from religion. That was intentional so that all religions have the freedom to exist and worship as they saw fit, or that a person was free to have no religion at all. As a few people have already mentioned, there are quite a few things in the Bible that could be perceived as offensive as well.
All that “treat the neighbor as thyself” only applies if your neighbor is white and Christian and believes exactly the same things that you do. It seems supremely easy to forget that Jesus himself was a brown, impoverished refugee member of a persecuted minority.
Jill Woolbright has the wool placed over her eyes! She has either not read the books or if she has, she totally disagrees with them. What she has Not done is read about the Positive Impact theses books have had in our school systems, which can be read near the end of the news article thanks to Tristan. She has stirred a hornets nest which never should have happened.
From what I read about the books, three of the authors are Black. Is Jill trying to tell me something I already know? Whether the books are banned or not, it is very important that all of our children learn how to read. If all of our children learn to read, write, and count, and comprehend, in my book the school has done a good job.
Concerned Citizen says
When an elected official misuses her power to remove books we should be concerned. When said official tries to involve Law Enforcement to accomplish her mission we should be concerned.
There are rules and procedures in place for handling situations like this. And it appears Mrs. Woolbright is above the law. Something to remember next election cycle.
Once someone gets a taste of taking something away from someone it usually doesn’t stop there.
If parents want their children reading these books, I’m sure the books are available at the public library. If not, all one needs to do is request them. Our school board’s number one job is the safety of ALL of our children. There are those children who are emotionally too young to have access to any kind of questionable material. How many parents check their child’s backpack to see what is being read? If the book isn’t on the school media center’s shelves then there isn’t a problem.
There have been many books pulled from school shelves once parents found out their children were reading them. The Dexter Series is an example.
However, NO book should ever be banned from a city or town library. But we need to vett books in our schools to protect our kids.
Just Be Realistic says
If a parent isn’t checking a backpack or skyward to find out what books their child has checked out, then they are also unlikely to check their electronic devices, social media, contacts, or internet history. Which do you think has the most dangerous potential? Hint: it’s not the library book.
D. Reilly says
After two turbulent election seasons, driving past small gangs of aging zealots urging drivers to honk in support of their beloved despot, and a global pandemic that somehow inspired the ignorant to demand their right to inflict stupidity on the rest of us, I am 100% pleased at the tenor of the majority of comments to this article. Hope restored. <3
Sick Society says
Sure, let the little Boys & Girls in 3rd grade learn how to be a “FREAK” in society. Hell forget about Science, Math, English, Geography……. Just make sure they know that Little Tyron doesn’t like his Penis and wants a Vagina ……….
This is why it’s important that these topics be allowed in schools. Close minded individuals spewing their own bigotry to children just perpetuates hate and intolerance. Thank you for making that point with your sarcasm.
The article heading reads “Jill Woolbright Wants…” — well, I DON’T WANT jill woolbright … problem solved
The only freaks in society I see are the ones that can’t accept reality and truth so they lie to themselves until they are actually the outcasted wierdo they initially feared. Ironic.
I am so sick and tired of constantly reading about Flagler County School Board members, they obviously love being in the news and they sure pick and choose what topics they disagree with. They don’t address young girls calling in bomb threats, they have members that are racists and against freedom of speech.
A teenager is going to read what they want to read. Stop trying to be parents of these students that is what their parents are for not the Flagler County School Board.
I have to say I kind of find all of this funny. …and it’s easy to get caught up in. …but the reality is anyone can pretty much download any book they want, any moment of the day. A, stick up her ass, fascist, like Woolbright, is so behind the times. Do kids actually even check out books from the library anymore? Come on. This is nothing more than a sad, bigoted person trying to flex her republican cred. It’s really pathetic, and on so many levels. Of course this is an affront to what this country stands for, but really it’s just dumb. I’m sure Woolbright was clutching her pearls when a private company decided to stop printing bigoted Dr. Seuss books that know one really knew about…but god forbid someone that is almost eligible to die in war, reads these books! All I have to say is that if she wants to start banning books that are filthy and pornographic…she best start with the Old Testament…cause damn it’s vile and I don’t want my kids around that.
Folks, this is all about Woolbright wanting attention. She clearly wants to make “a name’ for herself. What a way to do it. This story is currently on multiple news sources outside of this county, which is exactly what she was aiming for. I saw her a few weeks ago up in Tallahassee for a state political event. Without a doubt, she is trying to make a name for herself. The good news is that we can dictate how this ‘story’ ends. Get out and vote next time.
My family and I recently moved here from across the state and so far I’ve been pretty shocked at the amount of backwards nonsense I’ve seen spouted out by many Palm Coast community members. In all honesty, I thought West Central Florida was bad, but this thing with the books just adds to my dismay. This school board member who clearly has an issue with topics that are uncomfortable to her so therefore must be banned (black & Brown people, gays, what have you) The anti-vaxers on 100 with their gaudy flags, the 3 Percenters that work at some of these schools (they tell on themselves btw) are considered a terrorist organization but work with kids here and no one bats an eye!!! I’m ready to go back. Want to be an effective school board leader? Get outside of your bubble and see what’s happening in the real world. If you don’t like a book, don’t read it! That job belongs to each and every parent AND NOT YOU.
Maria Delamiamore says
There are days I would cheerfully leave this country and go where I don’t know enough of the language to bother with the newspapers or the internet. OTOH, it’s interesting to see the locals –esp in FLA–stirring the pot. Cooking up their own special fears and discontents.
I say, if you don’t want to read it and don’t want your kids to, then don’t. And tell them not to. Then go home and beat /abuse your spouse/kids/ the dog, if that makes you feel better. Or don’t.
Many people have been suppressed and shamed for so long, it’s a breath of fresh air to see real life written up for the kids. As someone who has in her family, one he who was a she, and seen the thriving of this grown up kid, and known socially a he who wants to proclaim his she-hood, but is afraid, I say, accept reality folks, nature does produce more than two kinds of people. That’ s the way nature works, not to your order. Get over yourselves, accept, live with– or go find a cave someplace and stay there. You cannot force a planet’s worth of nature’s variety to change –just to keep YOU happy. YOU are not the be-all and end-all of nature’s productions. You simply are NOT!Get over yourselves and your superiority.
Joseph Barand says
The two nut cases need to throw away their 18 inch double headed dido. They have worn it out, and franky I’m a little tired of their moans and groans.