Leon County School Board Votes 5-0 to Keep “I am Billie Jean King”

Leon County School Board Votes 5-0 to Keep “I am Billie Jean King”

In a special meeting on July 24th, the Leon County School Board voted 5-0 to keep the “I am Billie Jean King” book in three elementary school media centers.

The vote came after a hearing process which was prompted by a complaint about passage in the book which referenced Billie Jean King’s gay life style, explained what it means to be gay, and notes her transition from being in love with a man to falling in love with a woman. 

After evaluating comments by the concerned parent and an LCS official that supported retaining the book, the hearing officer determined that elementary school students should have access to the book. As part of the process, the hearing officer filed a recommended order for consideration by the school board which was taken up at the July 24th meeting.

The recommended order stated that the book had been well vetted prior to inclusion in Leon County Schools and that the book is not used for instruction.

The hearing officer also stated that removal would “infringes on the rights of parents who want their children to learn about Ms. King and the many contributions she has made to our country.”

And finally, the hearing officer noted that LCS was developing a process for a parent to limit his/her student’s access to materials in the school or classroom library.

At the meeting, Board member Rosanne Wood made a motion to adopt the recommendation which was followed by Board member comments.

School board member Laurie Cox voiced concerns related to the age appropriateness of the book, the reference to the meaning of gay, and the possibility that teachers could use the material in the classroom if the book was allowed to remain in the school’s media center.

Cox’s comments were followed by Rosanne Wood, who said she had spent two weeks formulating her thoughts. She stated that this is “such an excellent book” and “is about championing equality.”

“I want my kids to know everything about her. There is nothing that needs to be hidden in my opinion,” said Wood.

Wood added that the book was not required reading and was age appropriate.

Board member Marcus Nicholas also supported retaining the book. He argued that the book provided the opportunity for students to read about life experiences they would otherwise not know about. Nicholas stated that the removal is about limiting thought and conversation.

He noted that parents have always had the right to request alternative materials when objections on content came up.

Board members Daryl Jones and Alva Smith did not make substantive comments related to the book.

The final vote was 5-0.

16 Responses to "Leon County School Board Votes 5-0 to Keep “I am Billie Jean King”"

  1. Nearly twenty years ago, parents of K-2 students in Massachusetts brought a similar court challenge to picture books with lgbtq characters in Lexington Schools (Parker v Hurley). The parents lost, then appealed and lost again. Their appeal to the Supreme Court was refused, the lower courts’ decisikns Stood.

    Judges reminded parents that the state tasks public schools with preparing students for citizenship in a pluralistic democracy. As such, kids will most definitely be introduced to diverse topics that will likely offend some parents. Get over it. No indoctrination or undue burden of religious freedom rights has occurred, as these diversity lessons do not require children to agree with content and they’re generally only introduced occasionally. The government has not removed the right of parents to discuss and teach their children about their beliefs in a home setting when they might find topics objectionable. Moreover, children are mature enough to be presented with stories of a mom and dad or a prince who kisses and marries a princess. Sexuality instruction re sexual orientation (heterosexual) is implied when these books are used in schools. The Three Bears is an example of implied sexuality instruction – mama bear and papa bear have a baby bear. It’s not explicit sex education, however, of the type in upper grades where school policy allows parents to opt out their kids. Judges concurred that the mere presence of lgbtq-identified characters in children’s books is also implied sexuality instruction, but is not explicit. Books that offer explicit sex education as that in sex education classes are age-inappropriate. The Billie Jean King book is age -appropriate, there’s no explicit sex content in it. Not even kissing, as in a fairytale or a Georgie Porgie nursery rhyme. I’m 74 years old and wish people would stop being so juvenile in automatically turning thoughts to physical sex when they hear the word “gay”. I can only assume when they meet Mr. and Mrs. Jones, their perverted brains automatically picture Mr. and Mrs Jones in bed. That’s just crude. Real heterosexual grown ups don’t think of explicit sex acts when they meet a gay person. By the way, if those who insist gay people are groomers, don’t use your computer – it’s a gift from Alan Turing, a brilliant gay man and father of computer science. Don’t flatter yourselves with using the gifts of people you simultaneously denigrate. And by all means, never ever sing America the Beautiful. It was written by Katherine Lee Bates, a lesbian woman.

  2. Well… there you have it folks. Regardless of what they said on the campaign trail, we have a solid unanimous board of predator groomers running the Leon County Public Indoctrination System. And now you know what they really mean when they say, “it’s all about the children”.

    And what I’ve said countless times… “Parents; if you care at all about your child and their future, get them the hell out of the Public Indoctrination System NOW.”

  3. Years ago my late wife made the decision, after consulting with me, to cut off contact with her gay brother when he took it upon himself to want to “come out” to our 6 year old daughter at the time. We had little to no contact for five years until our daughter was older.

    There are no and I mean no circumstances where elementary age children need to be exposed to anyone’s sexuality and sexual preferences, whether in a book, by teachers, administrators and school boards. This is basic child psychology 101, even if these shrinks today have caved to the mob.

    The opinions and decisions by this Board on this issue and many others are reflective of the sick, twisted and mentally ill voters in Leon County who keeping voting for these board members. This amoral group is clearly represented by some troll posters to these TR articles. Get your kids out of these schools, fast. There are alternatives in Florida, thankfully.

  4. Perfect example of how one puts her political career ahead of doing what is right (Talking to you Laurie). Also a perfect example of unconscious bias where the author feels somehow motivated to tell 7 yr olds about a famous person’s sex life. As I recall, most gay teachers also feel the need to tell their young students about their sexual preferences.

  5. “the book is not used for instruction”

    That’s a straw man argument. A book mentioning that a man is a pedophile and shows his love of children by putting his body parts in their butt isn’t an instruction manual either, but I would hope that the school board would have the good sense to prohibit it.

    “removal would ‘infringes on the rights of parents who want their children to learn about Ms. King'”.

    Nobody’s trying to censor Ms. King or her accomplishments. There are certainly other books that glorify her. Put those books in the elementary schools and limit this particular book to high school.

    “Wood added that the book was not required reading and was age appropriate.”

    And yet, any teacher with an “alternate lifestyle” agenda will select THIS book for class reading. The school doesn’t require it, but it’ll be the weapon of choice by many.

  6. Hopefully “Mickey Mouse” will sign out the library book and conveniently never return it. Problem solved.

  7. Good post Maven,
    Everybody in Tallahassee/Leon knows “Rocky And The Groomers” are a danger to our communitty’s childern. “Rocky And The Groomers” would not even be a “thing” without our local voters.
    I just am very concerned our local voters will be denied entry into Heaven or whatever the Rocky voters various religons call the “Happy Place” they want to go to upon their end of life.
    Would these voters be absolved of the harm their votes did to the kids? I dont think St. Peter at the Pearly Gates would vote for Rocky.
    The local “Rocky And The Groomers” voters will likely have some legitimate problems gaining entry. Because they all knew the damage their votes would do to our kids before they voted.
    Y’all going to the “Bad Place”.
    If I save one, just one, wayward local voter’s precious Soul from the “Eternal Lake of Fire and Brimstone” by my message above. It will be totally worth it.

  8. I cannot think of a better example than this as to why these 5 groomers should have opponents the next time they’re up for re-election.
    Problems are:
    1) Getting God-fearing candidates with morals to oppose them and
    2) Finding voters to do the right thing in this uber-lib town.

  9. @David Hawkins

    Sure you did, buddy. SURE you did. Looks like you took that book a little too much to heart.

  10. You guys, I read about this book and now I think I’m gay. Please help.

    Also, I just saw that DeSantis fired a guy from his campaign who tweeted some Nazi stuff cause I thought, like, we were like, the quiet Nazis.

  11. “He (Marcus Nicholas) argued that the book provided the opportunity for students to read about life experiences they would otherwise not know about.”

    Well then, make sure they read about the life experiences of detransitioners Kayla Lovdahl, Chloe Cole, Prisha Mosley, and Soren Aldaco who have all filed lawsuits over their “gender affirming” care. And don’t forget the life experience of Kobe (does not give his last name) who deeply regrets his castration surgery.

    Talk about life experiences they may otherwise not know about….until it’s too late.

  12. Reading about ANYONES Gay Life Style or being Trans is NOT anyway Age Appropriate for Elementary School Kids.

    I left out the word NOT in my post.

  13. Reading about ANYONES Gay Life Style or being Trans is anyway Age Appropriate for Elementary School Kids.

  14. It is probably a good book for kids, inspirational. But when you lead with something identitarian like “I am gay”, you lose. If you wrote a book for kids that opened with something like “I am a male and I like females” well, that would be wrong. Right?

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