On October 25, as Popular Information previously reported, two members of Moms for Liberty went to the Santa Rosa County Sheriff's Office in Florida and accused public school librarians of felonies, alleging they were distributing pornography to minors. The basis of the complaint was the popular young adult novel
Thank you for digging deep into this. These 'moms for fascism' are disgusting.
This is a national tactic. There was a small group of parents pushing to ban several LGBTQ books in my New Jersey high school district a few years ago, and it was absolutely a set up. One of the women’s sons supposedly checked out a book that was so “shocking”... but it was one of the books that Fox News was flagging at the time. There is no way that kid just randomly selected the item, his parent definitely created the situation so they would have something to protest. To note, they were unsuccessful.
Thank you Popular Information team for continuing to examine and expose the strangely Puritanical belief systems of Moms For Liberty, Speaker Mike Johnson, Governor Ron DeSantis and any others who have made it their mission to dictate how all other citizens live their lives, who they choose as spouses and even friends, what books they read, what films they see, and WHAT THOUGHTS THEY THINK! If you haven't yet, please read maybe the best novel ever written, 1984 by George Orwell.
You are doing a major service to our country. You are exposing what threatens our "greatness," which is our freedoms.
The typical English / Language Arts teacher usually has a full schedule, what with the teaching of classes, the planning of lessons and activities, the grading of papers, the meetings bit of staff and department as well as parental, the hosting of after school study sessions and clubs, and so on. That doesn’t leave a lot of time for challenging books in libraries outside one’s own school, let alone the governing district, let alone the state. One starts to wonder how Ms. Taggett manages to maintain such an aggressive political schedule while maintaining her no doubt highest standards of excellence in her classroom. One wonders if perhaps she is receiving some outside financial and/or legal advice. What an excellent idea for an investigation!
Clearly, this woman, a teacher no less, is a dangerously unstable Karen, with no concept of Democracy or the Constitution, who has been whipped up into a fascistic frame of being by years of ever-present right-wing Florida Bible-thumping radio, and by the would be authoritarians Trump, and DeSantis. Just try to imagine for a moment the time and pure energy she expends in being a threatening bully fascist and trying to control what children in other school districts or states read and do. It's too bad she doesn't use that energy for purposes of good. I just seriously hope she doesn't have access to a gun.
As a retired teacher of 32 years, I find this Baggett woman as the antithesis of what an educator should be. She is a dangerous woman who is interested in her own agenda, not the well being of her students. She is aided in her bigoted quest by the present cultural war in Florida fueled by the political ambition of Ron DeSantis.
What is wrong with these people?! Even more distressing...why are they allowed to get away with such egregious and manipulative behavior? Is this even legal? I hope some of the more reasonable parents are able to pull together to fight this fascist group in court. Book banning is profoundly Un-American! We need to fight this kind of activity and keep shining light on the creepy DeSantis regime. Thank you Judd, for not letting them operate in the dark.
Seems to me a lot of these people must not have much of a life outside of the pitch to ban books. Teachers in my area teach their students according to the state board of education laws and codes. Am I wrong about the same being how FLA schools are taught as well?
Very interesting article.This past Tuesday around the US very few Moms for Liberty candidates had ballot success in elections.
Stories like this are unveiling the true nature of their beliefs.
Keep up the good work, PI
Thank you for your excellent article.
Florida is a horror show. The governor and GOP dominated legislature have their priorities upside down:
• banning books and drag queens
• attacking teachers
• banning history and dumbing down Florida education in general
• fighting women's reproductive rights
• denying climate change and sea level rise
• pretending COVID is a hoax
We are going to need sanctuary cities for Florida teachers and Floridians who can think. I predict a brain drain from Florida, which may be the objective.
I say this every time one of the MFL posts is made: for anyone who still lives in a place where the book banners haven't shown up yet, pay attention to what's going on at your local school district AND public libraries( because in some areas, tactics are shifting to include attacks on public libraries).
Show up and speak out. Read your library's collection development policy or materials selection policy. These statements should specifically state that the library follows the American Library Association's Library Bill of Rights, Freedom to Read, and Freedom to View statements - all of which protect each person's right to read any information, no matter how controversial. It also clearly states that parents DO have the right to guide their own children in reading choices, but that no single parent or a group has the right to choose for children who are not their own.
In addition, encourage your libraries, if they don't already have such a statement, to include language like this (which I found in a library policy in a very conservative district):
The library is not a judicial body. Laws governing obscenity, subversive materials, and other questionable matters are subject to interpretation by the courts. Consequently, no challenged material will be removed from the library for complaints of obscenity, pornography, subversiveness, or any other category covered by law until after receipt of an
independent court order. Conversely, materials previously judged unlawful will not knowingly be selected.
If you represent a school library, clearly state in your policy that only a parent with a child actively enrolled in your school may fill out a "request for reconsideration form", and that they must have read the book they are challenging in its entirety (so that they can't challenge books they've only heard about). Also, state in your policy that they can only challenge one book at a time, and that any challenged book stays on the shelf pending the outcome of the challenge process.
Make it clear that any book challenge form turned in becomes public record in the case that a Request for Public Records form or a Freedom of Information Act is filed.
Finally, if you are lucky enough to live in a state that hasn't lost its collective mind, contact your state legislators and DEMAND they pass a law similar to Illinois's law which bans book banning.
Also - call the people sitting on your school and library boards and talk with them about not banning books. Call them often. Write them letters. Write often. Get your friends to call and write as well.
Speak up! Speak out! Get active on this issue or it WILL come to your town.
This incident should be enough to get her fired, but I assume that she has so terrorized the local school board that they are afraid of the fallout. And, let's be real, in a rational world where school officials had a backbone and a shred of integrity, they would take her complaints and throw them in the dumpster. But we are not in a rational world, and this Karen for Fascism is operating in the Undemocratic Dictatorship of DeSantistan.
As a parent, I never censored or supervised my children's reading material. This is how we learn. I was just grateful that they were reading at all. This Moms for Liberty stuff needs to stop. I was grateful to hear that the candidates this group presented for school board elections were all defeated. My big question is....is Stephen King writing about pornographic themes now? "IT" was one of his lovely novels that I didn't read, but what is Baggett's objection to this book?
2 things.. 1. Baggett has issues only a therapist can handle. 2. I have not the courage but someone with courage could suggest the bible needs to be banned "because they do not agree with their premise of rising from the dead (witchcraft, new testament) & it is pornographic (old testament)" See how easy that was... these people are insane
It only takes one obsessed zealot like this lady, a fanatic in other words, to make a lot of noise and trouble. That is what Ron Desantis did. He empowered people to hold staff responsible Resulting in a tiny minority of people suppressing the majority.
Sigh... We have a kook like her in West Michigan as well. Police reports over books, constant dramatic readings in board meetings, getting district member to challenge books, a couple truly horrible Facebook Groups and constant targeting of LGBTQ+ kids. It's been going on for years: masks, litterboxes in bathrooms, vaccines, pick an issue - she'll amplify and exploit. The kicker: she's a school choice mom - her family doesn't even reside in the district. It's exhausting and I feel for the families in Santa Rosa County.
As usual, a thorough report with stunning detail.Thank you for following the fate of school libraries!