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Pushback: Forsyth County school board in Georgia sued for censoring parents during public comment

The Forsyth County School Board

Bring a gun to a knife fight: The five elected members of the Forsyth County Board of Education in Georgia have now been sued for the repeated censoring of parents during their open comment period because the parents wished to read pornographic excerpts from books that school board had approved for use in school libraries.

The suit was filed by the Institute for Free Speech (IFS) for two parents, Alison Hair and Cindy Martin, as well as the independent parents organization called Mama Bears of Forsyth County.

Multiple district residents, including Mama Bears members and plaintiffs in the lawsuit Alison Hair and Cindy Martin, have used their time to read aloud from school library books they consider pornographic. Yet while these materials are available to kids in school, the Chair has cut off and banned speakers who read from them at Board meetings when he deems the language inappropriate or profane.

This catch-22 robs parents of the ability to confront board members with the very language they themselves consider inappropriate for children, such as graphic descriptions of sex acts. After plaintiff Alison Hair attempted to read one such passage at a March 15 board meeting, she received a letter signed by every member of the Board of Education prohibiting her from participating in any future meetings until she provides a written guarantee that she will abide by the Chair’s directives. The Board, however, cannot require that citizens sacrifice their First Amendment rights as a precondition for participating in meetings, the lawsuit explains. [emphasis mine]

You can read the complaint here [pdf]. The facts of the case are very clear: the board members, led by board chairman Wesley McCall, have been abusing their power to silence any criticism. They are also doing whatever they can to prevent parents from revealing the queer and obscene content contained in school library books that the board members have approved for children, as well as creating rules that make removing these books practically impossible. From the complaint:

Mama Bears members spend many hours every week researching the educational materials available to their children through the classrooms, curriculums, and libraries of FCS [Forsyth County Schools]. They began to do so after they discovered that pornographic books in the FCS libraries were readily available to their children. They found the contents of these books to be shocking. This motivated them to advocate for these books’ removal from the schools.

Mama Bears members, including the individual plaintiffs, have challenged the presence of books found in FCS schools through a process called a “book challenge.” A “book challenge” commences when an individual sends a Media Center Materials Appeal Form to the school. The school passes the appeal form to a committee which then has 45 days per book to complete a review. Under the book challenge policy, only one book may be reviewed at a time in any individual school.

The Mama Bears have identified over one hundred books they believe are inappropriate. To have all of these books reviewed through a challenge under this procedure would take between seventy to twenty-five years, assuming no new books were added. Challenged books are still available to children during the challenge’s pendency. [emphasis mine]

The lawsuit claims the board is violating the parents rights under the First and Fourteenth Amendments of the Constitution, and demands “nominal damages; declaratory and preliminary and permanent injunctive relief against continued enforcement and maintenance of Defendants’ unconstitutional customs, policies, and practices; and attorney fees and expenses.” As this is the same non-profit legal firm that won an almost identical case in Pennsylvania, those nominal damages are the same, $17.91 per individual, a number matching the year the First Amendment was ratified.

This board is going to lose big, not only in court. First, while the nominal damages are tiny, the court costs are going to be expensive. Second, in November two seats are up for re-election, with Chairman Wesley McCall trying for re-election. Though he claims to be a Republican, that is irrelevant. His Democratic Party opponent should win big. Expect other members of this board to slowly vanish in future elections.

And if not, the contact information for each board member can be found here. It might be good if more members of the general public in Forsyth county let these board members know that pushing pornography on little children is not acceptable, nor is violating the rights of parents when they attempt to protest this vile policy at board meetings.

Conscious Choice cover

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15 comments

  • Ranten N. Raven

    Am continually amazed that tar has not been dusted with feathers in these cases, Would love to be on the jury after an arrest for such is made!

  • sippin_bourbon

    For years, when I talked to people who did not vote, the reason why was always “It does not make a difference anyway”. They did not see the value of their vote for races where millions were counted.

    I explained to them how on a small scale, for local races, the power of their vote increased.

    When I talked to others that did vote, many told me they voted for Prez, or Senators and Govs, but often ignored the rest, not having time to research the down ballot races.

    Both of these problems are how we got where we are today. Not enough people paid attention to who was running for the local school boards. In many cases, these are votes counted in the hundreds, or low thousands.

    A few I spoke with figured it out.. maybe the more they see the kind of problems like this board, and the others in the news, will they finally see their mistake. That is the only way we end it. Lawsuits will not fix it. Vote them out. Complete change.

  • Bob Wilson

    Yes, vote out the school boards but that’s only the beginning. The rest of the government school personnel like librarians and teachers are all far left. One ray of hope is school choice initiatives such as those recently enacted by Mr. Zimmerman’s home state of Arizona. we need to push Republican governors and legislators to adopt laws such as these and fundthem.

  • David Eastman

    I think they’re coming at this from the wrong angle. Just say “oh, ok, this material in the curriculum is pornography by your statements and I can’t read it at this hearing. So, officer, arrest them for distributing pornography to minors. They just admitted to it in public…”

  • David Eastman: You are right. The right has for years refused the recognize the power games of the left. Nor has it ever been willing to respond with the right use of power in return.

    The parents here should certainly press charges. That they haven’t reveals they still do not recognize the seriousness of the situation. Worse, they are acting as if they have no power, and cannot fight with all guns.

  • Hey Progressives! Forget the woman of girth: The People are bringing in the coolers, for all those cold dishes we’ll be serving.

  • Cotour

    Related:

    THE CLINTON ADMINISTRATION AND THE DEATH OF JOURNALISM

    “Time’s editors showed in July 1994 that they believed their job was not to uncover the truth but to provide political cover to Democrats in Washington.”

    Kenneth R. Timmerman reflects on the day journalism died in US (nypost.com)

    “As I investigated, encouraged by Time editors, I uncovered and documented a massive effort by China to buy sensitive military production gear from US weapons plants, seemingly with the benediction — or at least, a blind eye — from Clinton administration officials. ”

    Politics throughout history is universally perverted and corrupt, but the Clinton administration (along with the Bush jr. administration) boiled down brought that corruption and perversion to new traitorous heights in their own particular ways IMO.

    You thought Joe Biden, jackass and political tool of the radical Left was an anti-American problem as president? Could you imagine where the country would be now had “Uranium One” Hillary, Ma Barker, become president as was her stated Democrat party anointed right?

    And you wonder why the vitriol in the media against Trump is so explosive and absolute?

    If you ever wondered where the inspiration for the political lens “Strategy Over Morality” germinated from, you’re looking at it below. And you have to add “The Dark Lord”, Dick Cheney to that inspiration. You have to admire the Dark Lord; you must give the devil his due. Good bad or otherwise, The Dark Lord had vision and took care of business. And I admire that.

    What does the Constitution primarily structure? Political warfare, and political warfare must be fought every day if America is to survive.

    https://img.thedailybeast.com/image/upload/c_crop,d_placeholder_euli9k,h_675,w_1200,x_0,y_0/dpr_1.5/c_limit,w_1044/fl_lossy,q_auto/v1493059161/articles/2011/09/02/dick-cheney-s-daughter-liz-will-succeed-him-as-dark-lord-of-u-s-politics/dick-liz-cheney-cottle_mpegvv

  • Cotour

    WHAT DOES LOGIC TELL YOU? YOUR GOVERNMENT IS TRULY THE ENEMY OF FREEDOM

    https://dailycaller.com/2022/08/04/wray-fbi-dc-office-whitmer/

    “FBI Director Admits Agent Whose Office Ran Botched Whitmer Kidnapping Case Got A Promotion”

    The local FBI leadership set up and manufactured the kidnapping of the Michigan governor and those agents that participated in the operation were promoted. And that tells you all you need to know about what the FBI has become.

    Can you say “Operation fast and furious”? Can you say “The Muller / Trump Russian collusion “Investigation”? (And many more)

    The political warfare combatants include the permanent government and the politically empowered within the Political Realm and their direct and arm’s length proxies, and YOU those who inhabit the Pedestrian Realm.

    Like it or not you are a combatant in the permanent political warfare that the Constitution structures.

  • Jeff Wright

    David—you worded that perfectly. I wish I had thought of that.

    Oh well…I’ve heard 3 year olds curse like sailors …and Porky’s was big before jr high.

    Sigh.

  • john hare

    So these “Mama Bears” want to censor and are willing to sue to do it.

    Wasn’t going to comment, but had time in a waiting room to read the complaint.

  • Tallman

    I assume that you would all be very in favor of banning the Bible from school libraries as well. After all, it contains rather graphic descriptions of sex acts, incest, rape, murder, and various other things that you no doubt find as offensive as the material that these ‘pornographers’ want to ‘push on children.’
    No chance that you are just giant hypocrites, right?

  • john hare: The concerns of the Mama Bears has to to with material being foisted on children, which is a far different thing than censorship. They are not demanding that the pornography be banned, merely removed from a school library.

    You are either not thinking this through, or are being willfully thoughtless, if you refuse to see this distinction.

  • Tallman: 1. See my comment in this thread to john hare. This is a school library, for use by children. The material there is quite rightly controlled at a different standard than the adult world. And it is the wishes of the parents who should rule, totally.

    2. In case you have not noticed, but the Bible has been essentially banned from schools now for more than a half century. I would be willing to bet that it is not on the shelves in this school library, removed decades ago under the false edict that the first amendment requires the complete banning of any religion at any government facility.

  • John hare

    The availability of a book in the library is not foisting it on anyone. Very different categories from assigned reading.

  • sippin_bourbon

    John Hare,

    Are you being deliberately obtuse.
    When the school librarians create a Pride display, and put these books front and center, they are foisting.
    These books, and others, are placed there, and then are used to “open discussions” between teacher and students about topics of sex away from and outside the influence of the parents. Several schools have been caught having unofficial (but still written) policies about concealing these conversations with the students. This is why many of us are calling it what it is: Grooming.

    The “Mama Bears” or other orgs, are not demanding the books be burned, the publishers stop printing, or book stores stop selling, or even public libraries remove them. That is because in all those other locations, the parent has the ability to be involved.

    The want them removed from the school library, because, just as David Eastman said above, they are providing porn to kids. I think it is safe to say the Mama Bears would be equally upset if they also has Playboy, or Penthouse magazine, or other books containing graphic depictions of heterosexual interactions.

    Tallman,
    My wife and I have read the bible, plus several translations. None of the depictions of sex are graphic. Some of the topics touch on things considered taboo, and it then depicts the punishments for them, but they are not “graphic”, especially compared to the books these women and mothers are fighting. This is a red herring that is spread to convince people that extreme porn everyday, everywhere is okay, because they discuss sexual topics and matters in the bible.

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