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VIDEO: A "Homework Assignment" from Laurie

In recent weeks, parents who are fed up with explicit content found in books offered in their children's school library, have spoken vocally nationwide at their local school board meetings—in more than one case, reading excerpts from the books aloud in front of the board. Questions have arisen on how explicit materials get approved for inclusion in school district libraries in the first place.

Laurie, in her position as a member of the Tennessee Textbook and Instructional Materials Quality Commission, was called upon this week by a concerned parent whose elementary school student had checked out a book, Me and Earl and The Dying Girl, from her school’s library. She had accessed the book from a section of the library that is "restricted," requiring parental permission. The child obtained parental approval and the parent reviewed the book and subsequently sent pictures of the egregious content.

Laurie noted in her assessment: “This book is not only inappropriate for any grade, but it is also antisemitic in its portrayal of a Jewish teenager who is a sexual deviant and morally bankrupt. The language and the sexually explicit adult situations presented in the storyline are most assuredly not age-appropriate for elementary-age students. I have contacted the Assistant Director of Schools in Cumberland County and was advised that she had received no complaints about the book. She also stated that there is a process for parents to request books to be removed from the library. I informed her that after the recent statement by U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland suggesting that parents who show up at school board meetings could be labeled as ‘domestic terrorists,’ I wasn't surprised that no one has complained and that I will delve into this further.”

Here’s your PJTN “homework assignment": Please watch today’s message from Laurie and then call your local school library—elementary, middle or high school and ask the librarian if the book Me and Earl and the Dying Girl is available on their shelves for students to check out. If it is, send Laurie a note at [email protected] to report your findings and we will respond.

We must speak up. WE have the right to decide how our children are educated. Time to say “enough is enough!”

Thank you, in advance, for your time and efforts!



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