Profanity and Politics in School Books Angers and Emboldens Hamilton County Parents

CHATTANOOGA (WDEF) – A local parents group is raising the alarm about public school books on their children’s reading lists.

“Some of the language in these books is so vulgar and inappropriate that when I emailed the school board and used some quotes from the book, the email was bounced back to me and marked as undeliverable due to banned content. The district doesn’t allow that language in their email,” says public school parent Brandy Howard.

The words in these books could be offensive to some viewers. The books in question are on the reading lists of students from 8th to 12th grades, according to the Moms of Liberty.

Howard is a member of Moms for Liberty – a national nonprofit. Moms of Liberty also says there’s a concerted effort in these books to make Christian families look bad.

“In this book, for example, it is a father that is a preacher that carves bible verses into his son’s skin,” Howard says.

As Moms of Liberty prepare to bring their complaints before the school board next week, there is another local group of parents who will defend the books.

“The books in particular are not outliers. They are not rogue titles. These are critically acclaimed, award-winning titles. Many of them made Time Magazine’s Top 100 Youth Fiction of All Time,” says public school parent Taylor Lyons who is a founding member of Moms for Social Justice.

Moms for Social Justice calls itself a social justice organization whose mission is to “create diverse, inclusive libraries within local schools.”

“These books that are being called out and specifically being targeted are all authors of color,” Lyons says. The school board meeting is October 21st.

A new school board member – a parent of four public school kids – says he hopes to streamline issues like these so a solution can be swift.

“Sometimes we just get too afraid to make a decision without going through ten or 15 different layers all the way up to the state level and those things really drive me crazy and I know they drive parents crazy,” says Hamilton County School Board Member James Walker.

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