CLAY COUNTY, Fla. — A Clay County parent’s dispute with his school board has gotten national attention after he had his microphone turned off while attempting to read a passage out of a book from the Fleming Island High School library, which he considered “pornographic.”
Bruce Friedman is part of a national group called No Left Turn, which keeps a list of books parents have objected to across the country.
He found at least three examples in Clay County Schools he wanted pulled from library shelves, including one book at the Fleming Island High School library, “Lucky” by Alice Sebold.
The book’s description on Amazon characterizes it as a memoir of the author, who was brutally raped at 18 and chronicles her recovery.
Bruce Friedman sees it very differently.
“I don’t know a good parent that wants their child to read porn,” said Friedman.
Friedman took his concerns to the June 30 meeting of the Clay County School Board.
When he attempted to read an excerpt from the book, he was cut off.
“Turn off his microphone please,” said one of the members at the meeting not shown on camera.
The explanation he was given was, “There’s state laws that prohibit, and federal communications laws that prohibit you from publishing these things to a child,” said the person on the microphone.
In a statement provided by a district spokesperson, a similar explanation was given for cutting off Friedman’s microphone.
“When addressing the board, since our meetings are televised, we must abide by FCC laws and regulations,” said the spokesperson.
“Ironic, isn’t it?” said Friedman.
The district informed us an official complaint against “Lucky” was filed after the meeting, and the book has been temporarily pulled from the shelf pending an official review.
Friedman is glad the book is gone, but says he should have never had to complain.
“Why did I have to be the guy who found it? Why am I doing your job? Your job is to protect our children and educate them and send them home safely on the bus. The end,” said Friedman.
According to the district, the book was first purchased in May 2005.
The library had only one copy, which was checked out a total of 14 times since it was purchased.
The last time it had been checked out before being pulled was May 17, 2017.
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