School Board Won't Remove Any Books From County School Libraries

Thursday, October 21, 2021

County School Board members said Thursday they would not remove any books from county school libraries, though board member Rhonda Thurman said some have "vile language."

Ms. Thurman herself said, "I'm not here to censor anything. I'm not here to burn books."

But she said having such books on school library shelves is causing many parents to choose not to put their children in the county schools.

She said, "In 1992-1993, the schools had 44,000 students. It's still the same. You'd think with all the growth in the county it would be over 50,000."

She said, "Without the immigrants - I will call them - the numbers would be far less."

Ms. Thurman said, "You are promoting your own demise."

Board member James Walker agreed with Ms. Thurman, saying it was "not wise" to have the books referred to by Ms. Thurman. 

Another board member, Karitsa Mosley Jones, said she would not necessarily want her child to read some of the language, but she said it should be the choice of the parents. She said no child is forced to read any particular book.

Ms. Jones said such language is heard by young people all over, including on their devices. She said, "You might be walking through Food City and somebody might spout off the F bomb."

She said, "When we start censoring certain books where is it going to stop? If we're going to censor those, there's a lot more I want to censor."

Board member Marco Perez said, "The last thing we need is government deciding what the kids can read in the libraries."

He praised the county school librarians and said, "They are feeling attacked."

Joe Smith said he was offended by the language in the books, but he said, "I worry about starting to censor books. I don't know where that would lead to."

He said a parent had sent him a book "with horrible language," but he said he and his wife read it through "and cried the whole time." He said it was about foster children.

Mr. Smith said, "Maybe we should have a rating system for books. We have that for movies."





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