RALEIGH – Nine criminal complaints were filed on November 30 with the Wake County Sheriff’s Office over what parents say are obscene and pornographic books in Wake County public school libraries.
The complaints were all filed separately, with one being filed by Julie Anne, president of the Wake County Chapter of Moms for Liberty. Another of the complaints was filed by Wendy Runyon, the chair of the book investigation committee for Wake County Moms for Liberty.
Anne tells the North State Journal that her group saw lists of books parents objected to in different areas and on social media and decided they needed to look at the books for themselves.
Runyon handed over a list of 24 books which included sample texts from the books and which Wake County schools they were found at. Additionally, Runyon gave the Wake County Sheriff’s Office (WCSO) over 30 pages of photos of pages from the books on the list.
At least three of the books, “George,” Gender Queer “and” Lawn Boy, “overlapped with complaints by another parent, Beatrice Setnick. Anne said she had never met Setnick before the parents converged on her. the WCSO.
“We [Moms for Liberty] do not call for the dismissal of public librarians and school principals, ”said Anne. “It’s just not our goal. “
Anne said what her group wants is for it to be determined whether the books in question are illegal in public schools.
“Are they [the 24 books] in violation of any statute? Anne asked. “And if they break the law, then they should automatically come out because of the obscene content – sexually explicit and obscene.”
She also said that if the books are found to be legal in schools, her group calls for “some type of verification or parental review required of these titles” and “expresses the written consent” of parents to that their children consult these titles.
Anne said her group was concerned about transparency and parental rights.
“Our group is focused on parental choice and parental rights,” said Anne. “It’s not about banning books. We are not on book censorship. It’s about letting parents know what’s in the libraries.
“While some people may think that all of this material is good to be available for children, there are others who think it is not good, it is readily available to children,” Page said. “Parents should have the final say and decide what kind of material their child can see. “
According to the WCPSS Policy Manual, Policy Code 3200 covers “Selection of teaching materials”. The policy states that “responsibility for the selection of media collection material is delegated to professional media staff under the direction of the Director. “
Anne said a district official told her the selection of books was specific to each school.
Regarding the content of the books, Anne said the books also include very explicit language, rape, incest, pedophilia, bestiality. Additionally, she said some of the books have illustrations related to sexuality.
The North State Journal obtained copies of the complaints, but the forms contain no details beyond the criminal code applied and information about the declarant. Criminal codes in the complaints included “Pornography – Sale / Distribution 2520”, “Pornography – All other 2590”, “Sexual offenses – All others 179”. and “All other crimes – * must be described in the story * 2690.”
Anne said her group doesn’t use the term “pornography” because that’s not what her group is talking about when it comes to books. She said the books involved “sexually explicit material – in every way possible – involving a human,” including straight, gay and transgender relationships.
A North Carolina state law mentioned by some groups on social media is § 14-190.1. Obscene literature and exhibitions, which globally states that it is “illegal for any person, business or company to intentionally disseminate obscenity.”
The statue defines obscenity roughly as US federal laws on obscenity, where the “average person applying contemporary community norms relating to the portrayal or description of sexual matters would find that the material taken as a whole appeals to a lustful interest in sex.”
Books can be protected under the other provisions of the law, which also states that the material must lack “serious literary, artistic, political or scientific value” and, as used, “is” not protected. or privileged under the United States Constitution or the United States Constitution. Constitution of North Carolina.
In addition to filing a complaint with WCSO, later that day Anne also filed a formal grievance with Wake County Public Schools (WCPSS).
The grievance included district policies and state statutes that Anne considered violated. At the time of the grievance, it included WCPSS Superintendent Cathy Moore, the entire school board, the Wake County Council of Commissioners and other WCPSS officials.
“I received a response the next day,” Anne said, adding that the district had said they would be
come back to her ”but no one has contacted her since.
The subject of obscene books has not been dropped, at least not by Wake County Sheriff Gerald Baker.
On December 6, Baker spoke during the public comment portion of the regular meeting of the Wake County Council of Commissioners.
Baker’s comments followed those from Cary resident James Walsh, one of the nine to file book complaints with Baker’s office.
“The complaint is real,” Walsh said, holding up a USB drive containing evidence of the materials. He later said the evidence was brought to the Wake County School Board on October 5 and “they had done nothing.”
Baker’s comment also addressed the parents’ complaints and said they were “of great concern” to him.
“We’re going to take that information and investigate until we can meet with our district attorney, which is what we do from a stop sign to a homicide,” Baker said. “We’re not going to treat it any differently, but at this point there are and there are materials that concern me a lot personally and, certainly, professionally.”
“But we’re going to do our job,” Baker said. “If the prosecutor chooses to prosecute, then we will continue to do what we normally do in the way we deal with these matters. So thank you again, we appreciate it very much.
Although WCPSS has yet to address the issue of the book, it has been reported that at least seven copies of “Gender Queer” have been checked out by public libraries in Wake County for review.
A few of the parents who filed the complaints followed up on their own with a seemingly impromptu visit to the Wake County District Attorney’s office on December 9. Additional copies of documents, including hard copies of some of the books in question, were apparently delivered at this time. Wake County Moms for Freedom were not present.
A Dec. 12 article from Raleigh News and Observer claims to have “read the books,” but parents say the report barely scratched the surface, especially with its analysis of Jonathan Avison’s “Lawn Boy,” which is arguably one of the most opposed to books.
Parents across the country have spoken out about the book at school board meetings, with one mother in Texas noting that the word “f * ck” appears 44 times and “sh * t” 41 times before reaching page 66 .
“Lawn Boy” presents memories of the narrator having engaged in homosexual activity as early as the age of 10, in the fourth grade. Explicit sexual references include the narrator revisiting an act of fellatio that took place “in a group of church youths meeting in the bushes.”
Maia Kobabe’s “Lawn Boy” and “Gender Queer” are books that have been Underline as sexually explicit by North Carolina Lieutenant Governor Mark Robinson. Past remarks related to inappropriate sex materials in schools made by Robinson in a religious setting have been used as a means of calling for his resignation by Democrats and the LGBTQ community.
The Raleigh newspaper article admits that “Gender Queer”, another of the most contested headlines, contains at least five sex scenes and “sexually explicit” illustrations.
A couple who did not wish to be identified beyond having WCPSS students noted that the report noted the censorship of the F-word and the N-word, which are included in the text of “Not all boys are blue ”. The couple said that “if the book or a newspaper censors the word, how is that a decent book for a child?”