Trey Paul, FISM News
Once again, books containing sexually explicit materials have been found in public school libraries, this time in Pennsylvania, and once again parents and lawmakers aren’t standing for it.
On Tuesday, Rep. Fred Keller (R.-Pa.) and other Pennsylvania House Republicans sent a letter, featured in an exclusive report in the Daily Caller, to Governor Tom Wolf and acting Secretary of Education Eric Hagarty asking them to explain how and why sexually charged books are being allowed in Pennsylvania K-12 libraries.
That same day, Congressman Keller tweeted:
After our team received tips from concerned PA parents that K-12 school libraries were offering books on highly inappropriate and explicit sexual material, our team looked into the matter, and we were shocked by what we found. 1/2 https://t.co/Rv4cBxEdIa
— Congressman Fred Keller (@RepFredKeller) August 23, 2022
“Pennsylvanians want answers and we’re demanding the Governor and Pennsylvania Department of Education investigate this matter, determine how to fix this problem, and consult with local education authorities,” Keller continued on Twitter.
The letter referenced the concerns of not only parents but various Pennsylvania teachers and state officials regarding the “radical indoctrination of students” in the classroom, noting that many of the concerns stemmed from the book “Gender Queer: A Memoir” by Maia Kobabe, which includes “concerning and graphic material and raises questions as to the relevancy this material plays in the elementary and secondary education environment.”
As for how these types of books are being allowed in Pennsylvania public schools the letter stated,
While individual school boards along with school administrators and parent-teacher associations have the authority to add or remove material from libraries, we request that your Administration and the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) take action to investigate instances of explicit material being circulated and decide if further oversight is needed. Students are already facing an unprecedented amount of learning loss caused by school closures during the COVID-19 emergency period, so we need to be doing everything in our power to help students make the most out of learning opportunities inside the classroom now that the threat of infection has substantially decreased.
The authors of the letter went on to pose these questions:
- What processes are currently in place to review school library material?
- How do school boards, schools, and librarians engage with parents to determine age and academically appropriate content?
- What have the PDE and the Administration done to ensure the focus remains on academic outcomes and student success?
- Has there been any investigation into this matter?
The letter closed with a request for school leaders to “report back regarding how any of the inappropriate material being supplied to Pennsylvania schools fits into regular school curriculum, enhances student learning or improves educational outcomes.”
This isn’t the first time FISM News reported on the allowance of sexually explicit books in public schools.
At the beginning of the year, lawmakers in Oklahoma introduced a bill that would allow parents to have more control over the books offered in public schools and curtail sexually explicit books in classrooms and school libraries across the state.
The bill subsequently died in the chamber. Had it passed and a parent submitted a written request for a book to be removed due to sexually explicit content, school leaders would have had to remove all copies of said book from the school within 30 days.
Some of the books currently available in Oklahoma public schools that are raising concerns include, “Trans Teen Survival Guide”, “A Quick and Easy Guide to Queer and Trans Identities”, “A Quick and Easy Guide to They/Them Pronouns”, and “The Art of Drag.”