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PORTSMOUTH, OH – While perusing Florida’s news sources, I ran across a recent opinion piece by Michael Lewis in Miami Today about kids, books, libraries, and schools.
After reading and reflecting upon the rant of Lewis, my brain formulated a few questions:
- Has he read any of the books for minors that contain sexual acts, violence, or disgusting words and phrases? I have, so unless he’s read the targeted books – his opinion doesn’t hold water.
- Has his eyes looked upon the sexually explicit pictures in the books designated for kids? If not, his opinion is as worthless as an umbrella in a hurricane.
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Yes, Florida public school districts have removed over 100 books for containing content that is pornographic, violent or not age-appropriate.
“These days no Florida kid can get any book at the school library (or in class) that lacks authority approval. Gov. Ron DeSantis must have learned how Fidel Castro and the communist Soviet Union controlled all books and admired results of their brainwashing. He sure didn’t find the methodology in a free country,” Lewis grumbled.
Yes, freedom of speech gives all citizens the right to make derogatory remarks about elected officials. And there is no law against being moronic. But comparing DeSantis to Castro is outright outlandish.
So, I guess freedom of expression allows me to ponder on whether Lewis is ignorant, a Lefty liberal, or okay with kids’ reading the smut that was found in classrooms, school libraries, and public libraries.
The following excerpts are from The Daily Caller:
The books removed included “This Book is Gay,” “Gender Queer,” “Let’s Talk About It” and “It’s Perfectly Normal,” all of which include graphic references to sex.
“This Book Is Gay” recommended for tweens and preteens is described as an informational book about growing up in the LGBTQ+ community and includes a section about the “ins and outs of gay sex,” according to Sourcebooks. Taryn Feske, DeSantis’ communication director, shared a page from the book that defines sex terminology including “rimming,” “scat,” “scissor sisters” and “strap-on.”
Feske also shared pages from “Gender Queer,” an autobiography from author Maia Kobabe who uses e/em/eir pronouns, that depict two characters attempting oral sex by using a strap-on. The book also depicts the characters sexting, masturbating and tasting themselves.
“Let’s Talk About It” includes an image of two people engaging in anal sex and a diagram of an anus, according to pages of the book shared to Twitter.
“It’s Perfectly Normal,” advertised for children ages 10 and older, includes sections on masturbation, heterosexual and gay sex and all gender restrooms.
Lewis laments, “The choking off of what kids can learn is infamously occurring in classrooms all across Florida as the governor cracks down on ideas he dislikes in order to channel young minds into his narrow way of thinking.”
Pardon me, but I would be having a mother’s meltdown if these inappropriate books were offered or made available to my child in public places without parental permission. Furthermore, what sensible and rational parent, teacher, librarian, or other adult would vote to keep these books available for adolescents?
Let me be very clear: Books with graphic depictions of heterosexual acts do not belong in the hands of kids either. This is not an attack on the LGBTQ community.
Making books age-appropriate is not censorship. Ask for input and permission from parents is being responsible. School systems are not parents.
DeSantis signed legislation in March 2022 that requires school districts to be “transparent” about the material being taught in public schools. House Bill 1467 required those involved in selecting school library books to undergo training prepared by the state Department of Education beginning in January 2023 before selecting age-appropriate materials.
Florida law also prohibits distributing pornographic materials to minors under section 847.012, which reads that a person cannot distribute on school property “any picture, photograph, drawing, sculpture, motion picture film, videocassette, or similar visual representation or image of a person or portion of the human body which depicts nudity or sexual conduct” to minors.
Lewis opines, “Governor, if you want to go back to old-time education, remember that the aim of schooling then was to foster thinking citizens, not to censor thoughts like communists do. Censorship is un-American…”
Eighty-four percent of books removed from Duval County schools contained pornographic, violent or inappropriate content, according to data provided to the Daily Caller News Foundation.
Unless Lewis is in agreement with the aforementioned books for kids in public places without parental consent – he owes DeSantis a written apology in his column.
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