A surge in book removals from US schools prompts parental rights advocacy, like Moms for Liberty, addressing content concerns in public libraries.
One of the organization’s co-founders, Tina Descovich, spoke out on C-Span Washington DC regarding the dangers of unchecked school boards and keeping children safe in education.
Their Call Fell on Deaf Ears
Descovich started her career serving on a public school board in Florida. She noticed that parents would enter the school board meetings, voice their concerns, and receive empty promises and platitudes from the school board members. Nothing ever got done.
This sparked Descovich’s interest in a parental rights advocacy group. Descovich and Tiffany Justice, the other co-founder of Moms for Liberty, had the same experience of “witnessing parents coming forward [with] concerns about public education and the school board not really addressing them.”
The Birth of Moms For Liberty
Together, they created Moms for Liberty, a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization designed to help parents navigate the public education system. One aspect of the organization’s focus has been on removing inappropriate books from school libraries.
They Found Graphic Content in Elementary Books
One of the most banned books in the US, All Boys Aren’t Blue by George M. Johnson Garçon, was targeted after being allegedly seen in an elementary school library.
Descovich stated in a tweet this summer that the book, which contains graphic sexual content (including r*pe), was discovered at a Montgomery County, PA school. “Oak Park Elementary School,” she named the school in her tweet. “That’s kids 5-11 years old.”
Inappropriate Scenes at School Libraries?
A Moms For Liberty Chapter Chair named Vicki Flannery read a scene from All Boys Aren’t Blue in front of the North Penn School District. The scene depicted a sexual encounter between two boys. The silence that followed Flannery’s reading was palpable. “Do any of you—any of you,” Flannery demanded of the board, “Find this book that depicts a sexual encounter and r*pe acceptable for any minor regardless of gender or sexual orientation?”
“A child is a child, and if you see this acceptable, you belong on a national registry and not a school board,” Flannery finished to loud applause.
Book Author Fights Back
Garçon addressed Moms For Liberty’s accusations in a tweet, stating that Descovich “just LIED on my name” after Descovich’s multiple mentions of the book at Oak Park Elementary.
The author specifically called out Descovich’s claim that All Boys Aren’t Blue was marketed by Garçon as an adult book, stating that the book is and has always been a Young Adult book. “I hope your funders are ready for the defamation case,” Garçon wrote. “Furthermore, my book has never been found in an elementary school library.”
So @TinaDescovich just LIED on my name. My book is YA. I’ve NEVER stated It was an adult book. I hope your funders are ready for the defamation case. My pronouns are they/them btw— George M Johnson Garçon (@IamGMJohnson) July 18, 2023
Furthermore my book has never been found in an elementary school library. You should’ve played… https://t.co/czEDiyCtca
They Accused The Organization of Lying
Descovich doubled down on the claim and shared a video of Flannery’s presentation to the school board. Garçon, who uses they/them pronouns, commented on their disbelief in a follow-up tweet. “You think I’m [going to] believe one of YOUR folks?” They wrote to Descovich. “I’ve literally caught SEVERAL of y’all lying about my book being [in] libraries THAT NEVER HAD MY BOOK.”
Mixed Reactions from Social Media Users
Social media users weighed in on the debate, some siding with the author and denouncing Moms For Liberty. “The quality of the comments by the folks coming to [Descovich’s] defense say all we need to know.” One user wrote.
Just A Hate Group?
“There is zero intelligence or civil discourse involved in calling a person a groomer. This is yet another reason why Moms for Liberty was listed as a hate group.”
Just Ban The Book Already
Others fully believed Moms For Liberty and were horrified by the book’s presence in an elementary school. “Thank you for exposing this disgusting book! There is no reason for this book to be in our schools.” One user was shocked that the book was written for ANY underage student, questioning the author’s intent. “Are you saying that you wrote this book for minors?”
What Do You Think?
In an update, Garçon stated that their team has reached out to Descovich regarding the lawsuit. Moms For Liberty continues to raise concerns over the safety of students in public schools across the country.
This article was produced and syndicated by TPR Teaching. Source.
- Gen Z Calling For “Lazy Girl Jobs” To Improve Work-Life Balance and Prevent Burnout
- “Deeply Offensive”: School Told Native American To Cut Long Hair And Comply With Grooming Policy
Caitriona Maria is an education writer and founder of TPR Teaching, crafting inspiring pieces that promote the importance of developing new skills. For 7 years, she has been committed to providing students with the best learning opportunities possible, both domestically and abroad. Dedicated to unlocking students' potential, Caitriona has taught English in several countries and continues to explore new cultures through her travels.