BARTOW, Fla. — The Polk County School Board will host a workshop today to discuss up to 16 books found in PCPS libraries that a national group is calling for their removal.
Polk’s superintendent of schools placed the books in quarantine at the end of January until two independent councils made up of parents, teachers, students and librarians could debate the books and vote.
What do you want to know
- The Polk County School Board will host a workshop today
- Polk’s superintendent of schools placed the books in quarantine at the end of January
- Council members must now decide the fate of each book
These independent committees approved all of the books on the list, however, board members must now decide the fate of each book.
County Citizens Defending Freedom, the national organization calling for the removal of the books, told Spectrum Bay News 9 in a statement that it “…will take the next necessary steps as outlined in our Model 18 process until this violation be corrected”.
The CCDF’s “Model 18” includes a public fight against the books until a possible trial.
Two of the books in question, “The Bluest Eyes” and Tricks,” according to the group, deal with child rape.
“The Bluest Eyes” incorporates racism into its storyline, while the band says “Tricks” is about 5 children who have fallen into prostitution and child sex trafficking.
According to the CCDF, both include pornographic material and may violate laws aimed at distributing pornography to minors.
At least one person on the debate panels raised issues with “The Bluest Eyes.”
“We have laws to protect children for a reason, and we must employ them in the selection of our library books.”
But at least one student during the same debate defended the book, saying, “I don’t think it’s any different from what students would be exposed to in a history textbook or on social media. That’s the reality they lived in at that time, I don’t think it should be hidden.”
The CCDF did not make anyone available for an interview with Spectrum Bay News 9, releasing only a statement from its media office in the United States.
It’s unclear whether the council approves the books returning to libraries and how quickly the national organization can take legal action.