TN School Board Mutes Livestream Of Parents Reading Graphic Material

  • by:
  • Source: UncoverDC
  • 09/19/2023

A Williamson County, TN school board selectively muted audio during a public hearing featuring seven parents reading from sexually graphic books found in local middle and high school libraries on Monday. Board member, Carol Birdsong, unilaterally made the decision in real-time and without notice, citing "violations of FCC rules" as her rationale for muting the feed.

Williamson County mother, Kristin Benton, organized the readings so that a group of seven parents could read excerpts from the sexually graphic books. Her reaction to being muted speaks to the hypocrisy of the school board:

"We were silenced, and by silenced, I mean they muted the live stream of the meeting so no one watching at home could hear what was being said. Carol Birdsong unilaterally made the decision to do that because of FCC broadcasting laws. The message was loud and clear—FCC REGULATIONS ARE MORE IMPORTANT THAN PROTECTING OUR KIDS. Our phones were exploding with text messages from parents watching at home—we sounded the alarm that the feed was being muted every time one of our group was at the podium. Other than Nancy Garrett pounding her gavel to silence the room, they did nothing. They refused to address it."

Benton says that parents all over the country are finding "graphic sexual content, including rape, coercive sex, drug abuse, sexual assault, incest, and more," exposing students as young as age 10 to the material. The material is more often found in school libraries, but in some cases, it has been found in classrooms, according to Benton.

While this story will focus on Williamson County, there is no doubt that Comprehensive Sexuality Education (CSE) is alive and well in American K-12 schools. CSE is critical theory material, cloaked as educational, for sex education programs in schools in every state. The PurpleForParents organization was founded to fight CSE in Arizona schools.

Benton believes this is an assault on our most innocent; a "war on our children." The front page of her website spells out CSE.

Hope + Logic/Kristin Benton/Williamson County/CSE in schools

The video below, featured on Benton's website, Hope + Logic, discusses graphic examples of how "children are seeing obscene material that has been ruled by Congress and the Supreme Court impossible to show to children."

UncoverDC spoke with Kristin about what transpired at last night's meeting. She shared her profound disappointment at the reactions from the school board members:

"It's been really discouraging to see how school boards all across the United States want to fight against parents instead of working with them. The Williamson County School (WCS) Board has chosen to be a manipulative, deceitful adversary to parents rather than seeing parents as the greatest asset available in educating and protecting our children.

Through all of this, I started hearing about graphically pornographic material in schools and decided to take a look for myself—to sort of pull back the curtain in WCS and see what I'd find. I prayed I'd be wrong; but, I wasn't. It's there—a lot of it. It's in the libraries of our Middle and High Schools—not just in WCS but all over the state, and honestly, all over the country.

I really approached last night's meeting from the perspective that the school was unaware and that they would say, 'Wow! This is terrible. We should immediately get this out of our libraries.' Sadly, and unsurprisingly, they did not. Not only that, but they deliberately silenced all 7 of the parents that read excerpts exposing the graphic pornography that exists in the libraries of our schools.

Once public comment was over, four board members—Dan Cash, Jay Galbreath, Josh Brown, and Shelia Cleveland questioned Superintendent Golden intensely about how we get rid of books in the libraries. He kept coming back to a process. That process has been underway for MONTHS for numerous books in the grade school curriculum, with no action so far. HOWEVER—most of the books we were exposing are not textbooks—they are simply books in the library, available for any student, anytime.

We don't need another process! We need an adult in the room to say: 'These books are not appropriate for a school library; I will email the librarians first thing in the morning and have these titles removed. And, please let us know what other material you find—we absolutely do not want to be providing our students with pornographic material in school'."

Seven books were featured during the meeting. Several screenshots of the books and excerpts of their content are provided below. The content captured here speaks for itself. The entire document with all materials presented can be viewed here.

The Glass Castle:

The Glass Castle

The Berlin Boxing Club:

The Berlin Boxing Club

Me Earl and the Dying Girl. Difficult to read but talks about "eating p&%$y":

Me Earl and the Dying Girl

Below is a video of a father reading an excerpt from Me Earl and the Girl:

Below is a reading from "Homegoing" by Yaa Gyasi with written excerpts captured below the video:

Homegoing/Yaa Gyasi/Williamson County TN/11/15/21

Some states are taking measures to address the issue of graphic sexual material in schools. According to reporting by KHOU11, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott wrote a letter to the Texas Association of School Boards in early November to determine the extent to which "pornography or other inappropriate content" exists in public schools across the state and to remove it if found." Parents in the state have been showing up at school board meetings to protest the materials.

Republican Matt Krause of Fort Worth, chairman of the Texas House Committee on General Investigation, sent a list of sexually explicit books to "a number of public school districts including Cy-Fair, Fort Bend, Houston, and Katy ISDs." An excerpt of the letter can be found below:

Krause Letter Excerpt/Fort Worth, TX

Graphic sexual material is not just found in libraries. Mayor Craig Shubert, in Hudson, Ohio, threatened an entire school board with charges because of a writing assignment that required high school seniors to turn in creative writing assignments with the following prompts:

  • Write a sex scene that you wouldn't show your mom.
  • Write an X-rated Disney scenario.
  • Describe your favorite part of a man's body using only verbs.

Jason Johnston, who goes by Soulfire209 on YouTube, says there is evidence that parents are reluctant to discuss pornography and graphic sexual material with their children, leaving children vulnerable to navigating the "digital, porn-filled world on their own." His website, War of the Soul, speaks to the dangers of pornography in a digital world and seeks to help parents talk constructively about sexuality with their children. He has been at the forefront of domestic minor sex trafficking since 2011. He is a campus minister at Clemson University.

Johnson explains some of the common reasons parents do not discuss sexually explicit materials are ignorance and apathy.  However, he believes the top two reasons are "my kid would never do that," and pornography is a "part of the parent's life." Perhaps discovering these explicit materials in schools will help parents better understand and take responsibility for their role in discussing topics of that nature.

Those who advocate for explicit sexual education curricula tie teen pregnancy to education systems that "do not have honest conversations about sex." There is evidence that abstinence-only programs could be linked to a higher incidence of teen pregnancy.

Many parents, however, believe those conversations should happen at home. Either way, the content shared in board meetings does not seem to be particularly educational. It is not clear why such material should be in the hands of a fourth-grader.  

Parents who seek to advocate for their students want school boards to at least show some modicum of responsiveness to the information being presented. Instead, parents are often met with silence, resistance, or intimidation tactics. Much of the material being presented as available in school libraries is indefensible. There is a difference between teaching children about the reproductive system and exposing children to salacious sexual behavior and adult perversions. And Tennessee law is clear about the distribution of obscene material to minors.

"The bottom line," says Benton, "Is that graphic pornography—including rape, coercive sex, drug abuse, sexual assault, incest, and more is in Williamson county schools' libraries AND in the classrooms. We've only just begun to unravel the depth of this perversion, and Superintendent Golden has made it patently obvious that they will do anything they can to lie and hide it from parents, including blatant censorship of parents, rather than doing the right thing."

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