After two parents in Nassau County, Florida, launched a media crusade against a popular series of books by YA author Lauren Myracle, CBLDF and other partners in the Kids’ Right to Read Project last week sent a letter to the principal and members of a review committee at Yulee Middle School, urging them to defend students’ freedom to read and leave the books on library shelves.
According to Fox affiliate Action News Jax, parents Brook Todd and Billie Thrift became upset when their children brought the books TTYL and TTFN home from the school library. They expressed concerns over profane and sexually explicit language and age inappropriate content. “I was reading a lot of sexual content and some things that I wouldn’t think high schoolers should have access to,” Todd told Action News Jax. “It’s telling kids to rebel against parents. It’s telling them it’s OK to party, drink, cuss and do other obscene things in the book,” added Thrift.
Todd and Thrift took their concerns to school officials only after they had contacted local news outlets. In response to the challenge, Nassau County School District has convened its Intellectual Freedom Committee, a standing review committee made up of teachers, librarians, and administrators who will decide whether the challenge has merit.
In the letter sent Thursday, KRRP members stressed that while the two complainants are free to guide their own children’s reading choices, that prerogative does not extend to other students:
Since students vary widely in their intellectual development, reading skills, life circumstances, tastes, and interests, and since the library serves the entire school community, professional educators select a wide variety of books to provide options for all students, while acknowledging that no book is right for every student. In most cases, the best guidance for individual students can be provided by a librarian or teacher who is familiar with that student’s interests, needs, and abilities. Parents, of course, are always free to guide their children’s choice of library books.
Read the full letter below, and watch for updates as Nassau County’s Intellectual Freedom Committee reaches a decision on the fate of the two books!