What’s going on in our schools has many parents in a fury, starting with several library books, that, instead of us bringing us together, are further tearing us apart…

The Young Adult Library Services division of the American Library Association helps decide what books belong in our schools, and they’ve okayed Jonathon Evison’s Lawn Boy. Said to “boost tolerance and fight stereotyping, it sits on Virginia’s Fairfax High School Library shelves—and elsewhere, of course.

An outraged, mom stood up at a September 8 school board decrying the book and explaining that “The illustrations include fellatio, sex toys, masturbation, and violent nudity.”

Then she started reading from the book:

** “I can’t wait to have your c**t in my mouth. I am going to give you the blow job of your life, and then I want you inside me.”

** “What if I told you I touched another guy’s d***k? “What if I told you I sucked it?” I was ten years old, but it’s true. I put Doug Gobles d***k in my mouth, the real estate guy, and he sucked mine, too.”

With that, a board member had her mic cut off saying, “I’m sorry there are children in the audience here.”  (Honest!)

And in Texas, parent Kara Bell read a passage from page 39 in Out of Darkness, available at the Lake Travis Independent School District middle school–and elsewhere. Here you go:

** “P***y, or the idea of p***y; a Mexican is a Mexican is a Mexican is a Mexican; take her out back, we boys figured, then hands on the titties; put it n her coin box; put it in her cornhole; grab a hold of that braid; rub that Calico.”

** Ms. Bell continued by saying, “… I don’t want my kids having anal sex. I want you to start focusing on education, not public health.”

And with that, her mic was cut off, too.

Says Out of Darkness author Ashley Hope Perez, “I really think about young readers as increasingly capable and powerful readers because I was a teacher and I know what kind of books I wanted to have to offer to my students. I don’t think in terms of what teens can handle. I’m just interested in telling interesting human stories about adolescence.”

(Perez teaches literature at Ohio State University.)

Meanwhile, parents cheered when City of Hudson, Ohio’s Mayor Craig Shubert confronted a school board about inappropriate writing prompts given to a class, telling them to resign or potentially face pornography charges.

A judge had earlier told Shubert that the “642 Things to Write About,” “amounted to the distribution of essentially what is child pornography.”

Afterward a parent and former teacher shared some of those prompts; they been given to her high schooler. A sampling:

  • Describe your favorite part of a man’s body using only verbs.
  • Write a sex scene you wouldn’t show your mom.
  • You have just been caught in bed by a jealous spouse. How will you talk your way out of this?
  • Ten euphemisms for sex.
  • A roomful of people who want to sleep together.
  • Write about a time when you wanted to orgasm but couldn’t.
  • Write an X-rated Disney scenario.
  • The first time you had sex.

And so on…

Meanwhile, during September 28’s Virginia’s gubernatorial debate, Democratic candidate Terry McAuliffe (and former Virginial governor from 2014-2018) said, “I don’t think parents should be telling schools what they should teach.”

Responded his challenger Glenn Youngkin: “I agree with your conclusion, Terry, that we should let school districts actually make these decisions. But we must ask them to include concepts of safety and privacy and respect in the discussion. And we must demand that they include parents in this dialogue.”

Ironically, U.S. Department of Education regulations for the American Rescue Plan that gave state and local school systems $122 billion, require that they gain input from others, including parents, when deciding how to use these monies. Schools also received $3.2 billion thanks to the CARES Act and another $54.3 billion from a supplemental appropriations act in December.

Know, too, that a September 9-13 Echelon Insights poll of 1,006 parents of public-school students found that:

  • 56% said parents should be involved in deciding how the funds should be spent.
  • 67% said their children’s schools had not asked for any input or feedback.
  • 17% of those with incomes of less than $50,000 said they’d been asked for their opinions.
  • 28% of those with incomes of $75,000 and more said they’d been asked.

Perhaps it’s not surprising then that many are pulling their kids out of public schools altogether and opting to homeschool. Last year, about 6% to 7% of school aged children—some 3.7 million– were homeschooled, and that number keeps growing.

Moreover, writes classicalconversations.com: “Homeschooled students typically score higher than public school students on standardized tests and that parents’ level of education did not change the student’s success.”

Maybe it’s time we all check what’s in our kids’ bookbags…

~With thanks, Carol