On December 19, 2023, the Worcester County Board of Education voted on two motions to address the district's use of sexually-explicitly books that depict and promote obscene sexual acts that are currently made available in the school district's media centers. After hearing many false narratives designed to drive the misconceptions of book banning and discrimination against the LGBTQ community, the motions brought forth by board member Katie Addis was very clear that the concern is not about any of that, but about the age-appropriateness of the school system making sexually-explicit content available to minors, which broadly includes both heterosexual and homosexual acts alike.
She also reiterated that the existing book check-out procedures and measures only address the checkout of a book in a school media center. The procedures and measures do not address children who can currently enter a school media center and read sexually-explicit books without any kind of protections in place, rendering a parental opt-out null and void.
Addis believes in intellectual freedom with age-appropriate books. She then stated what it all comes down to, "Students should absolutely have access to a variety of literary works aligned with their interests and maturity levels, without being subjected to sexually-explicit content."
The first motion of Addis was to create a restricted area of sexually-explicit books that would require a parent's permission for their child to access (opt-in permission slip).
The second motion of Addis was to be inclusive of all Worcester taxpayers in the decision of book selection for their school system.
Todd A. Ferrante, President, District 7 - NO
William E. Buchanan, Vice President, District 1 - NO
Donald C. Smack, Sr., District 2 - NO
Jon M. Andes, Ed.D., District 3 - NO
William L. Gordy, District 4 - NO
Elena J. McComas, District 5 - NO
Katie Addis, District 6 - YES
Both motions were denied, with board member Katie Addis being the only supporter.
Fellows & Editors
December 20, 2023
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