CLAY COUNTY, Fla. — A group of parents continues to challenge the way Clay County Schools vet the books getting placed on school shelves, saying students have had access to dozens of examples of inappropriate content.
Bruce Friedman got his mic turned off during a Clay County School Board meeting last month, while reading from the book “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.
Friedman considers it to be “pornographic.”
Friedman is part of a national group called No Left Turn, which keeps a list of books parents have objected to across the country.
It’s been temporarily pulled from libraries, while its content is reviewed.
The school board later cited FCC rules as the reason for censoring their meeting.
On Thursday morning, he was back, asking the board during a special meeting to take more accountability.
To challenge different books, Friedman said he’s submitted more than 60 paper forms to get them removed from school libraries.
He argues the process should be much more streamlined for parents, and that ultimately, it shouldn’t be up to parents to flag inappropriate content.
He showed the pile of papers to school board members, but it’s a process Superintendent David Broskie said has been in place for at least 30 years.
“I have to do 800 little things I have to fill out,” Friedman said. “It’s not my mess to clean up. You did it, you fix it.”
Tia Bess also chimed in. The mother of three recently moved from Duval County and her son has autism.
“My son, he’s thriving,” she said. “However, my concern was the idea of these inappropriate library books.”
She says her issue is with the book “A Court of Mist and Fury,” by Sarah J. Maas. The sequel to A Court of Thorns and Roses, it’s described on Amazon as a young adult novel for kids 13 years and older, and follows 19-year-old huntress Feyre, who “has undergone more trials than one human woman can carry in her heart,” and is “haunted by the terrible deeds she performed.”
Bess said she found it at her daughter’s middle school library.
“In my opinion, it’s more graphic than ‘50 Shades of Grey,’” Bess said.
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The school board is now looking to update the manual which library media specialists use to filter books. It’ll share those updates on August 4 and then tentatively vote on it September 8.
Friedman said he’ll be there.
“I feel it’s the tip of the iceberg,” he said.