TN teacher’s TikTok about working weekends cataloging books goes viral

MURFRESBORO, Tenn. (WKRN) — A TikTok posted by a Murfreesboro teacher explaining why she came into work on a Saturday has been viewed more than 1.5 million times on the platform.

In the video, she says she came over the weekend to catalog the books she keeps in her classroom to comply with the Age Appropriate Materials Act passed this year at the Tennessee General Assembly.

“Teachers have to catalog every book,” she says. “Most teachers have hundreds of books, some I would say have thousands.”

While the teacher says her district doesn’t ask her to come in her spare time to make a list of all the books she has on her shelves, she said she does it so her students can have something something to read after taking the tests. .

In a statement to News 2, a spokesperson for the City of Murfreesboro Schools said, “Generally, this law requires each public school to maintain and post on the school’s website a list of school records. school library collection. The statement adds: “Our legal adviser advised that the definition of library collection as set out in the law applies to classroom libraries. We intend to obey the law while supporting our teachers. Our district has provided our teachers with great flexibility to complete this requirement and has not set deadlines for completing a classroom inventory.

The spokesperson also said that while students cannot read books from class libraries until they are classified, they can read books from the school library, which are posted on the site. School web.

The debate surrounding books in the classroom took place at the state Capitol after the McMinn County School Board banned “Maus” – a Pulitzer Prize-winning Holocaust graphic novel.

| LEARN MORE | Latest titles from Murfreesboro and Rutherford County

The board said it was banned due to inappropriate imagery and graphic language. Sen. Jack Johnson, R-Franklin, was one of the sponsors of the legislation and said the law was not a book ban, but rather a move to add more transparency to schools.

“I think whenever it comes to education, the more parents know, the better,” Johnson said before the law was passed.

However, the president of the Tennessee Education Association says the lack of confidence this law shows in public school teachers, the extra work it adds to their plate, and feeling limited in what they can teach are only contributing to the teacher shortage across the state.

“This process is really unnecessary,” said TEA President Tanya Coats. “We are professionals in our classrooms and we know what is best for our students. We would not put anything in front of them that would be inappropriate or harmful to students.

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Still, although frustrated with the lack of compensation for the extra work, Coats said teachers will obey the law.

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