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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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28 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.

  • I must also point out that the lawsuit actually has nothing to do with the books or the library, but with the illegal unconstitutional attempt to silence parents at school board meetings.

    Remember, according to this vile school board, this porno is unacceptable to read aloud at a school board meeting, but perfectly acceptable to put in school libraries and displayed so as to encourage young children to read it. Thus, they tried to silence parents who tried to bring this school pornography to the public’s attention.

    The level of corruption that would allow this craziness is hard to measure.

  • I must add one more item: My history books, about some of the greatest achievements in space, most of which were achieved by Americans and written so that even smart middle-schoolers can enjoy them, are not in these school libraries. Instead, school boards and teachers think it more important to have kids read graphic queer pornography.

    This choice tells us a great deal about the agenda of the public schools.

  • Tallman

    Robert:
    The statement that the Bible has been banned from public schools is demonstrably false. The state-sponsored promotion of any particular religion is prohibited, but the scholarly study of religious texts in the public school system is absolutely not banned. This was a nice attempt to dodge the actual question of whether or not you support banning a book that contains many references to topics that you should find objectionable based on your post. So I ask again, do you support banning the Bible from public schools based on the many graphic representations of sex, incest, rape and other forms of violence in the text? Please see my response to sippin_bourbon below for examples. If your answer to this question is that you would not support the banning of the Bible, then I would ask the same of you as I do of sippin_bourbon – please provide an example from the books in question that are the topic of this post that is worse than than the examples from the Bible that appear below.

    sippin_bourbon:
    Not sure what you have been reading. Just a sample of possible examples:
    Genesis 19:33-36
    2 Samuel 13:11-14
    1 Samuel 18:25-27
    Deuteronomy 22:23-24
    Judges 19:22-29
    Pretty much the whole Song of Solomon

    If none of this qualifies as graphic enough for you, then I would ask that you provide an example from the books in question that are the topic of this post that is worse than these and would therefore qualify the books being banned while not banning the Bible.

  • Bob H.

    My question is, if the books depict sex between children, why the school boards and librarians are not charged with distributing child pornography.

  • Tallman: Just so there is no misunderstanding, you were banned several years ago, when your nickname was Bernard_92, for being insulting to others. You are being civil now, so I will continue to allow your comments, after moderation.

    Note that you are on probation however.

  • sippin_bourbon

    Tallman. Did you try reading them, and in context (as in reading the parts before and after?)

    Genesis 19:33-36 is about incest. Specifically about King Lot and his daughters. If you know about Lot, you know how the story ends.
    As I mentioned above, the bible tends to address consequences.
    Graphic? No. Suggestive, yes.

    2 Samuel 13:11-14 Depicts rape and incest (of a half sibling). But the sordid tale starts even before that, if you know anything about it. And, again, it does not end well for the rapist, Amnon.
    Graphic? no. Taboo topics? of course.

    1 Samuel 18:25-27 Depicts an act of violence during a war. War tends to be brutal. A Russian mercenary did something very similar last month, on video.

    Deuteronomy 22:23-24 Discusses a it’s crime and punishment. It is taken out of context. And no, not graphic.

    Judges 19:22-29 Wicked men, being wicked. Pretty horrible. Punishment follows in the next chapter, as well as more context.

    Song of Solomon is heavily symbolic, but yes it is about physical characteristics and intimacy. So symbolic it goes over the head of most youths. Yes you have found the most “graphic” part of the bible. However, Penthouse Letters, it is not.

    I wonder, what do people think the Bible is? All angels and miracles and a cute baby in a crib? Nope!

    All of this is really out of place here on this forum. While Mr Z does not censor, it is usual to have a Bible discussion here. I thank him for his broad latitude.

    I would suggest actually READING the Bible, but that is up to you. No one is going forcing you. I am not going to post quotes from any of the books that this group are fighting. You have proven you can use a search engine.

    But again, they are not asking it to be banned from the world, just removed from the school. That way, if the child still wants to pursue reading them, they can do so where the PARENTS, the people actually responsible for raising the child, can interact, answer questions, discuss, etc. The teachers and staff placing these books, and then hiding the interactions with the student about the topics is why these parents are upset. The parents are the ones acting responsibly here.

  • Tallman

    Robert:
    So a note that you previously banned me for responding to attacks from others here and being dubbed as uncivil as a result, but again no answer to my question. It is also telling that you must have gone back through your prior records and compared IP addresses of previous banned posters to find if there was a match in hopes that you could issue such a response and avoid answering the question at hand.

    sippin_bourbon:
    Are you suggesting that because there are consequences to the depictions of rape, incest and sex in the Bible that makes it fine for anyone, including children, to read those depictions? So it is not the graphic depictions of sex acts in the books that you wish to be banned from school libraries that are the problem, but rather that those acts go unpunished? Robert has accused the school board of being pornographers that are ‘pushing pornography on little children’. While I fully agree that it is ridiculous and likely a first amendment issue to not allow the parents to quote the books in question at a school board meeting, the primary question here is whether or not you would consider the books in question to actually be inappropriate for children given your apparent support for reading graphic passages of sex, incest and rape from the Bible to those same children. As this is a civil and scholarly discussion of the issue, perhaps you could ask Robert if he would mind the posting of passages that would normally be deemed as inappropriate for the site. If you have not seen the books and as such do not know what it is that you are arguing against, then perhaps you should educate yourself before continuing the discussion.

  • Spectrum Shift

    Bob, I compliment you on your tolerance of Bernard_92 (Banned) returning as Tallman. Your rules are simple. We’ll see if he can respect them this time. For me, Tallman is trying to provoke. I define him and his ilk, emotional vampires, trying to foment angry responses they feed on. I serve them……silence.

    This lawsuit is about free speech and parental inclusion in the education of their children. The attitude of the school board is sharply displayed with the hubris “We know what’s best for your child. Sit down and shut up”. I applaud the parents for standing up against this arrogance.

  • sippin_bourbon

    Tallman
    My points I thought were clear, but here ya go:
    1. The Bible is not as graphic as you, and others, claim it is. It is suggestive and touches on difficult topics, but not graphic. The argument you make is a red herring.
    2. The inclusion of consequences vs celebration of immoral acts is important, yes. Absolutely.
    3. The Bible, or any other book at home or in other places (public libraries or bookstores) anywhere else but the school library ,are where they can be viewed, reviewed and discussed between child and parents.
    4. But the biggest point is the teachers and staff are using the school library to side-line the parents role in matters of sex, sex education and moral teaching. They are pushing to make this material available and have these discussions with younger and younger children. (as evidenced by the pushback against the law in Florida which banned these type of books/discussions in Kindergarten through 3rd grade).

    As to your last request. I do not share porn written or other mediums, on the web. Ever. Nor will I ask someone to do it for me. I have seen excerpts. They are not “just as bad as the bible”. Your diversion to this attack is distraction. The intent of the works is antithetical to the healthy sexual development of young children. Their inclusion at the schools and their use as tools by certain teachers and staff, is to circumvent parents. This has been demonstrated and proven by documents showing the intent to conceal info from parents.

  • Dyspeptic Curmudgeon

    As well as the ‘they have just admitted that they are providing pornography to minors” attack there are at least 2 more lines of attack. Presumably the board operates under some ‘Rules of Order’.
    In that case, the chair acts in an ultra vires manner in cutting off the public member, without motion or debate. The shut-off is an improper exercise of power masquerading as a authorized authority.
    Secondly, although it appears that the entire board is on board with banning someone from the premises, this also is an ultra vires act, in that it was not moved, debated and carried *at a public meeting*, (and presumptively, one where the prospectively to-be-banned member can attend and make representations.
    The whole thing lacks due process. It appears (although unclearly stated) that NO actual “pornographic words” were stated: she got cut off *before* the bad words were said. She was then ‘trespassed’ for what she had not done, in an illegal and unauthorized manner.
    The damages should not be minimal. The damages sought might clearly be minimal as against the school district itself (say $1.00) , but should be massive as against the board members PERSONALLY (in lieu of tar and feathers!), as well as the legal fees of the plaintiffs AND the legal fees of the district.

  • Cotour

    If you have children, be afraid.

    https://youtu.be/vJPJ4z9typo

    And get them away from these people.

  • wayne

    coming up live-stream at 7:45pm…

    “K-12 Educators Arrested on Child-Related Crimes”
    Kurt from Uncivil Law
    https://youtu.be/ArA52ErTBo8

    “A minimum of 181 K-12 educators have been arrested on child-related crimes in the first half of 2022. Among those educators arrested were four principals, 153 teachers, 12 substitute teachers, and 12 teachers’ aides…..”

  • Edward

    Tallman,
    Your examples fell short. It is apparent that a news report of rapes, incest, or honeymoons would be, to you, pornographic.

    In addition, you demand that Robert answer your silly rhetorical questions? Or do you truly believe that the mere mention of coitus or violence is pornography? They let worse than that on TV:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FfIprXM72LY (4 minutes. Firefly: Malcom seduced by his wife (referencing a fictitious space bible))

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