The debate over children’s books promoting sexuality has sparked a South Carolina County Board meeting on whether the local library board should restrict access to questionable materials in the children’s section public libraries.
On November 1, Greenville County Council voted 9 to 3 against a resolution that would have supported the Greenville County Library System’s ability to remove books with sexual content from the children’s section of the library system.
The resolution was largely symbolic and would not have affected library board policies.
The consensus of those who voted against the resolution was that the resolution would go too far into the jurisdiction of another government council.
Councilman Joe Dill, who introduced the resolution at the request of the Greenville County Republican Party, told The Epoch Times it was not a directive but a show of support for the council’s efforts. library to remove sexualized material from the children’s section.
However, some of those who spoke out during public comments against the resolution called it a “book ban.”
Ever since books depicting characters engaging in sexual activity — like “Gender Queer” — began appearing in children’s libraries in 2020, parents have started speaking out at school board meetings despite other parents and many school board members said the problem did not exist.
“We’re not even discussing the book ban,” Dill said. “We are discussing putting the books in an age-appropriate area.”
A woman who spoke during the public comments said there was already a policy in place in the library system that regulated age-appropriate books and prevented them from being borrowed without the permission of a relative.
“The truth is, this resolution is not about child protection, it’s about power,” the woman said. “It’s about parents who feel they should have the power to dictate what books other people’s children have access to, and it’s about using the power of performative outrage to punish LGBTQ youth.”
As a member of the LGBT community, she said she was not indoctrinated by a book.
“No book has the ability to change a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity,” she said. “What books have is the power to teach empathy and acceptance, and to provide a mirror with which to see ourselves reflected in the world.”
She went on to say that sexuality books are a lifeline for children confused about their sexuality and at risk of suicide.
The Greenville County Library System did not respond to The Epoch Times request for comment.
The risk of suicide
The argument that children kill themselves because of sexual repression is mostly in the transgender debate and has been refuted by psychologists like Miriam Grossman.
“Children who are confused about their gender often have other issues, and if you compare the suicide rates of children who have psychiatric issues without gender identity issues with children who self-identify as trans or non-binary , you get very similar suicide rates,” Grossman told The Epoch Times in a previous interview. “So it’s very inaccurate to tell these parents that their child is at risk of suicide because of this issue when he’s there are many more.”
The public comment period was colored with biblical allusions and a reference to Ted Bundy’s admitted addiction to pornography as the source of his murders.
Sid Cates, vice chairman of the Greenville County Library System Board, said in a public comment that the library committee met earlier today and reviewed 24 children’s books. and had come to a recommendation consistent with the board’s resolution, although he did not elaborate further.
Cates did not respond to The Epoch Times’ request for comment.
A matter of timing
Later in the council’s discussion around the resolution, Councilman Dan Tripp asked Dill – who lost his primary in June – if he had told voters he was “going out in a blaze of glory”, which implying that his presentation of the resolution was a political stunt, which Dill denied.
Tripp said it was the parents’ responsibility to enforce the excerpted books, although he said he agreed with the intent of the resolution.
“I just question the timing and the rationale for this when all it does is divide the community,” he said.
Although Councilor Ennis Fant said he agreed that sexually explicit material should not be found in the children’s library, he said the book in question which had been presented to council the previous week was not a book that had been found in the children’s library.
“It was kind of wrong to make us think it was in the kids’ section when it wasn’t,” Fant said.
Frant did not respond to The Epoch Times’ request for comment.