West: Proposed School Library Checkout Procedure Will be Disastrous

West: Proposed School Library Checkout Procedure Will be Disastrous

By Priscilla West

Leon County Schools is making plans for a book-by-book permission system for library checkouts.  Parental screening options are welcomed, but the plan sidesteps parents’ greater need for LCS to do the right thing:  Please curate school library collections to be educational, enriching, and age appropriate. 

While school libraries do a great job providing content that is educational and enriching, newer “Young Adult” and “Youth” publications increasingly cross lines of age appropriateness.  No one wants to “ban” these books, but parents who want them for their children can find them outside of schools — in bookstores or at the public library.

The proposed new procedure will be restrictive and burdensome.  Students will not be allowed to read a book in the library without checking it out first.  Librarians will be tasked with obtaining parental permissions and holding books for confirmation.  Concerned parents will have to research every book their child asks to read.

School Media Specialists work hard to instill a love of books in children.  They create inviting spaces, craft displays to pique curiosity, and select supplemental materials to broaden and deepen the academic experience.   Why then, would LCS ask them to effectively put the books under lock and key?   Children should be allowed to browse freely in the school library.  

This additional layer of bureaucracy will stifle curiosity and discourage reading — but only forthose whose parents care enough to screen materials.  Some children will have to leave the library empty-handed while librarians wait for busy parents to open an email or log in to a portal.

It is the Board’s responsibility to ensure the suitability of all educational materials offered by the district.  No “permission slip” system will absolve them of this, absent an objective book rating system or full disclosure of potentially problematic content in every book. 

The recent removal of 5 books for graphic, narrative depictions of rape, incest, or anal sex will not detract from the education of Leon County students.  The district indicates that only 40 of its 468,131 titles warrant review.  If this is the case, then evaluate those works and make the decisions required to protect children from harmful or illegal content.   Then, freely offer responsibly curated library collections to all students in Leon County Schools.

Priscilla West holds a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from Louisiana State University and worked in the oil industry for 25 years.  She currently serves as Chair of Moms for Liberty Leon County.

28 Responses to "West: Proposed School Library Checkout Procedure Will be Disastrous"

  1. Stop labeling people. Those of you complaining about our school system…please answer this…when was the last time you visited a school? Do you volunteer to help out in a classroom? Volunteer to read aloud to students? Most of you will answer “no.” You have just taken the lazy road to your so called idea of “freedom.”

  2. I don’t blame any school system for trying to follow the law. You write as if every parent agrees on what content is age appropriate. Even when they are friends or relatives – or sometimes, married to each other – they don’t agree. Ask around. I did. I can’t blame a school for trying to keep itself from being charged with a law violation or fined. We’re not living in Massachusetts Bay Colony. We’re not culturally or religiously homogenous and haven’t been since the 1600s. And that didn’t last long. Get real.

  3. The LGBTQPedo Cult needs impressionable children in order to grow their numbers. Rational adults cannot be swayed to join their perverted and twisted lifestyle… so they target our children in hope of increasing their political and cultural influence. The leader of their political party often forced his prepubescent daughter to bathe with him, so you know from whence this perversion comes.

    These are evil times my friends… and neither history nor God will look kindly on a people that allows this to happen to those most vulnerable among us… our children.

  4. Parents with traditional values, it’s not just the books that your children have access to that are undermining you. Be discerning about who you allow your children to befriend and in whose company they may keep. This includes adults as well as other children.

    Ignore the inevitable name calling that you will receive, the claims of insult and offense taken, the virtue signaling, and other manipulative tactics. They are your children. You get to raise them.

  5. Socrates was found guilty of corrupting children so you have chosen the perfect name for yourself. Perhaps you should expand your reading beyond “I am Billie Jean King” as it would benefit us all… Including yourself.

  6. Say what you want but Moms for Liberty started to annoy me. It’s not enough for them to keep their own kids in the cages of their view of morality. Now they want to put my children in their moral cages too. I even decided to read “I am Billie Jean King” they wanted to ban recently. I found only 2 sentences in the whole book mentioning King’s sexuality. That’s it! What a moral catastrophe indeed! In contrast, the Bible is full of obscene quotes and acts. Imagine a kid getting hold of the Bible and reading, for example, about Lot’s incest with his daughters. To be taking seriously, Moms for Liberty should start with banning the Bible from their homes first before their kids find it. So, Mrs.West, is your home Bible-free?

  7. You have LIBERTY in your name, yet you restrict freedom for kids to read something?? That makes no sense. I bet some kids will read and laugh at the similarities in their textbooks how certain books were also banned by the National Socialists.

    This is America ladies… Have the freedom to expand your mind. You should be happy they even go to the library. Once they have a phone, that goes out the door with many in this generation. By then, they will see things in the real world you failed to prepare them with our ever growing diversity.

  8. “ Concerned parents will have to research every book their child asks to read.” AS THEY SHOULD!
    When my kids were in school, I looked at every book they brought home, I visited the school library, l kept track of what my kids read, and I made myself available to answer questions, etc. THAT’S CALLED PARENTING! That’s what you do as a parent. I didn’t storm the libraries and make them remove things I didn’t like. Be a big girl and OWN it, for heaven’s sake.

  9. “We are Moms of Liberty! We should have say over what our children can read in the library! If you mess up following {whatever wacko things we are thinking} we can sue the school system because otherwise you are communist!”

    “OK. Here is a procedure wherein you have control over any book your child has access to.”

    “Not like that! Just keep the books *I* don’t like out of the library!”

    “Which ones are those?”

    “The ones I personally find offensive!”

    “How should we know what *every other parent* finds offensive though? How should we know if someone thinks the Bible, or Torah, or Koran is offensive? What if a parent thinks depictions of slavery is offensive? What if a parent thinks stories about colonialism is offensive? What if a parent thinks a book about world war 2 is offensive? What if a parent thinks a book about the civil war is offensive? What is a parent thinks a book about native Americans is offensive? How do we keep any child from reading any book that their parents might find offensive without being mind readers and getting sued? We need to follow the law you insisted get passed in the name of Liberty ™, don’t we?”

    “The only Liberty ™ we need is the one where the books Moms of Liberty find offensive aren’t available in a school library.”

    “We are just following the law, Qaren.”

    “You’re supposed to follow the spirit of the law which means, I get to choose which books are available, and how they’re available. Following the letter of the law is communism or socialism or something.”

    “Maybe you and your children aren’t cut out for the market place of ideas if your first thought is to litigate schools over books you can easily make unavailable for your children. Why not send them to Prager U and a Masters up at Trump University?”

    “You are a clearly a groomer.”

    “Please don’t confuse me with the Catholic church.”

  10. Folks, this is just Commie Cloward- Piven Strategy 101, designed to collapse the system.

    And from Saul Alinsky’s “Rules for Radicals:”
    RULE 4: “Make the enemy live up to its own book of rules.” If the rule is that every letter gets a reply, send 30,000 letters. You can kill them with this because no one can possibly obey all of their own rules.
    RULE 11: “The price of a successful attack is a constructive alternative.” Never let the enemy score points because you’re caught without a solution to the problem.

    Our Groomer in Chief just stuck his thumb in the eye of America’s Governor by going ahead with offering AP Psych. More bad form, Rocky. Stop looking in the mirror and chanting “You Be You.”

    Mr. DeSantis: Tear Down This Skrewel Board!

  11. @August West: SPORTS. Totally agree:
    If The Florida Department of Education wanted to bring up GPA’S, Math Skills, ect…they would stop all sports, all Band, all extracurricular activities untill the educational goals are FIRST met. Then those folks you named can have their precious sports back. Talk about raising parental involvement all over Florida!!!
    That would get a whole bunch of lazy parents involved. The football pipeline to the universities???? Forget about it until those GPA’s come up. Just imagine the sports nerd Dads accross Florida looking up the word “woke” for the first time and motivating their kids like teachers and administrators just dont do any more. Again the fix is cut out SPORTS until we get what we want from GPA’s…it will work. Y’all locals will also finally find it in your hearts and minds to VOTE Rocky And The Groomers out of office.
    Let me drive it home one more time: SPORTS

  12. “School Media Specialists work hard to instill a love of books in children. They create inviting spaces, craft displays to pique curiosity, and select supplemental materials to broaden and deepen the academic experience. Why then, would LCS ask them to effectively put the books under lock and key? Children should be allowed to browse freely in the school library.”

    If you believe this, why do you push for books ban in the first place? It sounds like you simply disagree with what is age appropriate, don’t trust media specialists and teachers to do their jobs, and are avoiding important conversations with your children. You would rather the school board do extra work so you don’t have to.

  13. Well my boy wants a copy of Tom Sawyer. You gonna make me sign in and get it for him? That’s totalitarianism! My ancestors didn’t wipe out the farting buffalo to put up with this modern malarkey! Consarn ya!

  14. Moms for Liberty clearly want to control what books MY children can check of of the library. They absolutely love the ability to freely browse their classroom/school libraries. If they brought a book home I was concerned about, I would tell them they had to wait to read it. You’ve made teaches and librarians the enemy. You’ve made them fearful of what kinds of insane push back and bullying they might get if a parent like you doesn’t agree with a book that’s available. They’ve spent hours cataloging books. It will never be enough. This is the safest option for them to have these libraries available. If you don’t trust their judgment as educators to offer reading materials then YOU should be the one to review what your child wants to check out. This action is to comply with a law YOU supported. I’m seeing comments about having the superintendent removed because they don’t like a form that was created by ELECTED officials to comply with a law they wanted enacted. I’m not sure you all understand what LIBERTY means.

  15. Priscila, do a Public Records Request of what books are in each library. They are obviously on a computer system. Should be very easy

  16. We shouldn’t wait to elect new School Board members or Superintendent. The LCS Board knows this convoluted procedure will not work. The Florida Dep’t of Education (start at 850- 245-9663 ) might be a start. Thank you Mom’s for Liberty.

  17. Last year, the New Hampshire state legislature passed a law that “personal financial literacy” was a core requirement of their constitution and that the state’s education department provide it.

    There was a proposal to use PragerU’s short videos, 15 of them at about 5 minutes each. The cry and pushback by the teachers was about what one would expect. They were “concerned” that the kids might venture into other areas of the conservative leaning site and discover a side to things that teachers are delivering.

    The point here, is that out school board issues certainly aren’t unique. After all, you can’t groom school children without first controlling the curriculum.

  18. Rocky Hannah is doing this to antagonize parents who want their second grader to read books for second graders.
    Rocky is a leftist, and if you oppose him, you are the enemy. Less than half the students are performing at a satisfactory level yet the news that Steve and Hatfield think is important revolves around wayward volleyball and football coaches.
    There is a story in the Democrat today about how Sabal Palm Elementary School has been put into a special category of failing schools and they interviewed one of the parents, she said “I went to Sabal Palm, now my daughter goes to Sabal Palm and all the teachers, and everything is still the same.” The Democrat portrayed it as a success! It’s a failing school!

    No one is ever held accountable, it’s time to make that change with Rocky Hannah.

    P.S. I won’t hold my breath waiting for the story on the wayward math or science teachers that are failing our students at a much higher rate than all the volleyball coaches.

  19. Excellent article and thinking, Priscilla.

    The misguided school board could, if they wished, use this ridiculous system as the basis for morphing into a rational one.

    Parents don’t know every book in the school’s library. Not even close. The librarian should. Since the librarians aren’t tasked with actually doing their job, that is, knowing age appropriateness of the items that they manage, materials that violate multiple adults’ standards for their children get put on a restricted list. Then this silly system can go away. Culling updates to the library’s inventory isn’t that tough.

    Related, why isn’t the contents of the library known to everybody in the county? It seems that the public school libraries should have a catalog that kids, adults, fans, critics, and everyone else peruse…

  20. Well said Priscilla —even if you only have a degree in chemical engineering.
    LCSB’s plan is designed to fail and the Board knows it. So Rocky you are right, maybe only 10% of the parents will use the convoluted procedure.
    Mr. Weed asked the question – should the Fla. Dep’t of Education be involved ?
    Maybe that’s the appropriate action –waiting for another election and hoping we get a Board with a lick of sense is wishful thinking. Just say’n

  21. This article is Spot On! Why should children and parents suffer a ridiculous, bureaucratic library sytem because the Leon County School Board doesn’t have the common sense to remove trashy, filthy books that have no business being in a school library. If a parent feels the need to read that kind of material to their child, they can go to a bookstore. This nonsense is what happens when you elect liberals.

  22. You reap what you sew. You wanted to limit access. Now you don’t like the way they limited access. Cry me a river.

  23. Shouldn’t the Florida Department of Education place Superintendent Rocky Hanna and the school board members on suspended unpaid leave for investigation for creating such a detrimental policy that inhibits learning and by not removing inappropriate books in the first place shouldn’t they be held criminally liable for exposing harmful materials to children? Problem solved.

    Hopefully Moms for Liberty will endorse candidates for Leon County School Superintendent and School Board going forward.

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