Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. ~Matthew 16:24

CORRECTION: Gilbert School Board DID NOT VOTE To Keep Pornographic Books In Reading List - Meeting 12-16-14

Posted: 2014-12-17

EVNN UPDATE 12-18-14

CORRECTION: The vote did NOT approve the reading list. My mistake. I did listen to the entire debate but was confused about the actual motion. The actual final motion was verbatim "All those in favor of approving the course description book removing the item of the reading list until January" 

For: Julie Smith, Jill Humpherys, Lilly Tram

Against: Daryl Colvin, Staci Burk

So, the way i undertstand the motion, is the course desription book was approved but the reading list will have to wait until January for the board to decide what to do with it. I think i have it right now. You can see the motion and vote take place in Part II of the meeting at time stamp 29:00. 

To recap, the course description book is approved but the reading list has not been approved yet. Sorry for the confusion.

My concern is that the make up of the board will change between now and January as a result of the recent election. At that time there will not be a conservative majority. What will the board do about the reading list in January? We must stay engaged to ensure that the reading list respects the values of our community.

A previous motion was made, at time stamp 22:00 (Part II), to remove "Beloved" from the reading list. It failed. Here is the vote outcome:

 Motion fails

     Against removing: Julie Smith, Jill Humpherys, Lilly Tram

     For removing: Daryl Colvin, Staci Burk

We are anticipating a press release from board member Julie Smith regarding her votes on the reading list. 

EVNN UPDATE 12-18-14

CORRECTION: The vote did NOT approve the reading list. My mistake. I did listen to the entire debate but was confused about the actual motion. The actual motion was verbatim "All those in favor of approving the course description book removing the item of the reading list until January" 

For: Julie Smith, Jill Humpherys, Lilly Tram

Against: Daryl Colvin, Staci Burk

So, the way i undertstand the motion, now, is the course desription book was approved but the reading list will have to wait until January for the board to decide what to do with it. I think i have it right now. You can see the motion and vote take place in Part II of the meeting at time stamp 29:00. 

To recap, the course description book is approved but the reading list has not been approved yet. Sorry for the confusion.

My concern now is that the make up of the board will change between now and January as a result of the recent election. At that time there will not be a conservative majority. What will the board do about the reading list in January? We must stay engaged to ensure that the reading list respects the values of our community.

 

EVNN 12-17-14 

At the December 16, 2014 Gilbert Public School Board meeting, the board voted 3-2 to allow all the books on the reading list, including "Beloved", to stand. There were actually applause from people in the room. I pray they were not teachers and it is even more disturbing to think that they might be parents. Below here is a recent posting from Gilbert Watch on some of the books in question followed by the entire school board meeting video with notes about where related discussion took place.

Excerpt from Gilbert Watch article ( http://www.gilbertwatch.com/index.cfm/blog/how-much-gruesome-depraved-truth-is-appropriate-in-gilbert-schools/ ):

Several parents have emailed the board objecting to these books.  

Ms. Amy Peterson, who has children in the district, sent an email alerting parents and other Gilbert residents about one particular book titled Beloved.  It was written by Pulitzer-prize winning author Toni Morrison.  The book was made into a movie. (See Christian Spotlight on Entertainment:  Beloved.)    Ms. Morrison's Beloved has been hailed by literary critics and educational experts as a great work of serious art. Advanced Placement kids are supposedly mature enough to "handle" the subject matter, including graphic beatings, depravity, sex, and aberrational behavior that was the reality of slaves during the Civil War.  

Here's an excerpt from an email that a concerned citizen wrote to the Board:   

"Beloved depicts a gruesome chopping up of an infant child, bestiality, and rape. Why present such topics in school when students are already being bombarded by inappropriate images and verbiage via the movies, television, and internet? And by approving this author, Toni Morrison, aren't we indirectly telling teachers that these other books written by the same author are okay"?  

The Bluest Eye, also written by Toni Morrison, is on the Common Core approved reading list (See Appendix B.) The current Gilbert School board removed it from theirs. 

"The Bluest Eye is the story of Pecola Breedlove, a young black girl, who prays every day for beauty: for the blond hair and blue eyes that she believes will allow her to fit in. As her life begins to disintegrate in the face of adversity and strife, such as being raped by her father and beaten by her mother, she finally appeals to Soaphead Church, a pedophile, to help her attain blue eyes. After being impregnated by her father, she loses her baby and ultimately loses her mind.

"This book includes graphic depictions of incest, rape, and pedophilia. The book actually lets the reader see the depictions from the perpetrators point of view.

"In fact, the author of the book, Morrison, says that she wanted the reader to feel as though they are a “co-conspirator” with the rapist. She took pains to make sure she never portrayed the actions as wrong in order to show how everyone has their own problems. She even goes as far as to describe the pedophilia, rape, and incest 'friendly,' 'innocent,' and 'tender.' It’s no wonder that this book is in the top 10 list of most contested books in the country."   (See Common Core Approved Child Pornography.)  

Ms. Peterson also objects to The Bean Trees stating, "It is a "lesser" in filth book but here is some information about it:  See Novel Reviews:  The Bean Trees.)

"Famed literary critic, Carrie Fleming remarks, '....The content, in my opinion, is too mature for some ninth graders: infant molestation, references to pornography, twins having sex in the womb, penis jokes, etc. The bottom line is that it's a good book for the right audience, but I'd rather let the parents make that decision for their own kids and not suggest it as reading for the entire class.'"

The best writers know how to turn their words into vivid images in the minds of readers.  If the most depraved scenes in these books were in a motion picture, they would be rated N-17, and children aged 17 and under would not be allowed to see them.  The Motion Picture Association respects the role of parents as the ultimate authority of their children and takes great pains to warn parents if a film contains “"violence, sex, aberrational behavior, drug abuse or any other element that most parents would consider too strong and therefore off-limits for viewing by their children."  

Yet, books with this kind of content are easily found in our public school system.  Kids in the public schools aren't adults, no matter how mature they imagine themselves to be.  Adulthood is reserved for those who have full responsibility for their own households.  

Where do you stand?  If the literary experts agree that a Pulitzer-prize winning author's work should be read by your child, is that good enough for you?  If newspaper articles and television commentary call you a "book-burning right wing kook" because you dare to stand up for your child in the name of decency and morality, will you back down?   

This isn’t about book banning or being a prude.  It’s about parenting and your authority as a parent.  Who sets the rules in your family?  The schools, your children, or you?  Who has the ultimate responsibility for the upbringing of your child?  The schools, your children, or you? 

Part I

...

21:50 Glen Frakes

25:08 Amy Peterson

29:00 Biology Books Process for Redaction

1:35:00 Course Description Catolog

1:44:00 Approved Reading List

1:45:00 The Bean Trees

(No books added or deleted for years)

1:47:00 Colvin motions to remove "The Bean Trees" and "Beloved"

1:52:00 Superintendent Kishimoto says AP requires that these books, "The Bean Trees" and "Beloved", be included in tests

1:54:00 Julie Smith makes statement concerning these books

Part II

0:00 Discussion continues concerning the books "The Bean Trees" and "Beloved"

BYU HONORS "Great Works List" contains "Beloved" but not "The Bean Trees"

REFERENCE

http://honors.byu.edu/content/great-works-list

 

8:00  15-102 State Law

22:00 Motion concerning the removal of "Beloved" by Toni Morrison

   Motion falls

     Against: Julie Smith, Jill Humpherys, Lilly Tram

      For removing: Daryl Colvin, Staci Burk

27:00 Julie Smith argues that if the book is on the list, it's OK as long as parents are notified in advance

29:00 motion and vote: 

"All those in favor of approving the course description book removing the item of the reading list until January" 

For: Julie Smith, Jill Humpherys, Lilly Tram

Against: Daryl Colvin, Staci Burk

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Previous Comments


From: jlenahansmith@gmail.com Posted on: 2014-12-18

This is false.  The list of books was REMOVED from the vote and has not been approved.  Let's get the facts straight!

 

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