The school board in Clay County, Florida, cut the mic of a man who was citing alleged pornographic material to them - which he found in the school district’s library books.

Parent Chokes Up After Reading Vile Excerpts From Florida School Library Novels. “I Had No Idea It Was This Bad – I’m Shocked.”

Two brave men are fighting for Clay County’s minor-aged students who have been subjected to vile, pornographic and age-inappropriate novels showcased in school libraries. Their actions could set a precedent for other Florida counties’ parents to ban such materials in schools.

The challenge is more complex than ever before, and the material could not be more shocking. The book material I reviewed is disgusting without pause and causes one to wonder how such depravity ever passed through the executive suites of long-standing publishers serving schools.

To add insult to injury, it is stunning that such written material – rich in adult details – while sometimes describing the commission of horrid sexual crimes – could ever be categorized as material for “Young Adults.” But unlike the movies, books are not “rated” based on sexual or violent content.  A child rape scene for example, may be written with subtlety or vileness, and there will be no warning if the writing is raw.

However, some ebook sellers like www.bookcave.com have formed their own content rating systems to satisfy their customers and protect authors from dissatisfied readers.

Some of the shelved book excerpts I read would likely be movie-rated as “X” to “XXX.” Some authors write traditionally “clean” books in the beginning of a series or in a single, free-standing story, but become more vulgar writers as they produce more books.

Parents have been outraged over indecent school material in the past. But today, parents must resolve such matters alongside other controversial teachings that sometimes try to play hopscotch with politicians to avoid detection.

Critical Race Theory has been re-named “Diversity, Equity and Inclusion” in some schools of the country, although little or nothing has changed.  “Wokism” – an indoctrination with a set of social beliefs addressed through sometimes aggressive activism promoted by schools and social media – can be hard to rein because of head-pounding teachings such as, “Being non-racist is NOT enough! You must be active!” – while twisting facts and avoiding critical thinking from young people. These matters have further exacerbated parents’ fights against influences over our youth – and are problems probably more unruly than what was seen in the 1960s.

While Governor DeSantis recently signed the “Parental Rights in Education” bill that in part, prohibits public kindergarten through third-grade instruction on sexual orientation and gender identity, school officials and other parties are wanting the governor’s input as to what defines “Critical Race Theory” in Florida schools and what constitutes “pornographic” and “inappropriate” material.    

That’s according to one of Florida’s brave men Bruce Friedman. He is Florida Chapter President of a national non-profit called “No Left Turn in Education.” Founded by Dr. Elana Fishbein in Pennsylvania, Friedman told The Free Press that the organization is designed to rally parents to take action against the various forms of indoctrination that their children are forced to endure.

Two brave men are fighting for Clay County’s minor-aged students who have been subjected to vile, pornographic and age-inappropriate novels showcased in school libraries. Their actions could set a precedent for other Florida counties’ parents to ban such materials in schools.
Bruce Friedman

Friedman’s interview with Fox News aired nationally on July 13, covering his experience in front of the Clay County School Board on June 30. Bruce Bickner, Clay County School Board’s attorney, refused to let Friedman read pornographic, age-inappropriate material found on Oakleaf High School’s bookshelves.  Friedman said that the fact he could not read the material proved its unsuitability. For Bickner, it was a matter of preventing a pornographic recital on an FCC channel.

I asked Friedman what he needs out of Florida parents from his clarion call to defeat school-accessible pornographic content.  

Friedman said he doesn’t need more “nodders and approvers” sitting on the couch – he has plenty of those – but needs more “bulls in a China shop” or “warrior” personalities to stop the onslaught of what he surmises are probably “hundreds, maybe thousands” of novels presenting either sexually perverse or adult content throughout America’s schools. He needs clerical assistance from Clay County parents to scour through software-based book summaries to flag suspicious material.  

“Not having the battle costs you your children’s souls – you have to have the fight. When you’re reading something that looks like it was written for Hustler Magazine, you’re immediately aware – there is no denying it,” Friedman said.

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Hustler Magazine, a pornographic men’s magazine that originally launched as a rival to the softer-porn magazine called Playboy, was once popularized as the “rawest” of all men’s magazine publications. Today, it’s slogan is, “Hard Core Since ’74.”

Friedman mentioned three specific books or portions of book series containing pornographic content found in Oakleaf High School where his son once attended: “Lucky,” by Alice Sebold, “Triangles,” a book series by Ellen Hopkins, and “Court of Thorns and Roses,” ultimately a book series by Sarah J. Maas.

Friedman even found a gender/sex-related book for one to three-year-olds online.

“I saw one today to be read by toddlers published by Harper Collins – ‘Bye Bye Binary” – I don’t even have words for that.”

Published in May 2022, the book’s summary includes the statement, “Our little bundle of joy has arrived – to dismantle gender norms!”

Friedman expressed his views on Florida’s education environment. “So far there’s no accountability and I don’t blame them for ignoring the parents. What are you going to do about it? You don’t like it? Home school, private school – shut up. And that’s the way it’s been up until DeSantis changed a few laws around here and now they are all scrambling. The fact that I made a little noise in the last board meeting and caused all this bruhaha is secondary. But it’s just more lighting on them and they don’t like it.”

Friedman also said he that as he was leaving New York, kindergarten teachers began questioning their little students as to what their pronouns were – are you a boy, a girl, non-binary? A “he” or a “she?”  Friedman said he believes all teachers are simply “bred activists.”

Friedman continued, “The devil’s advocate’s position seems to be well, all your kids carry cell phones and have access to the entire internet. What do you really think you’re protecting them from, blah blah, blah. And I would turn to a person like that and say, well, I can always take my son’s cell phone away if I feel he hasn’t earned my trust, but I can’t take his school library away. That’s one. And by taking that contrary position, I don’t want you near my kid, either.”

The second brave man, Roger Daly, Chief Academic Officer for Clay County’s School Board has also stepped up to the plate to do his best to help, and Friedman is pleased about it. “He promised to try to work with other school board leaders to cease placing any more novels on the shelf until the process is cleaned up – so it means they can’t put in a hundred bad books while we’re trying to get three bad books out. It’s a very small victory and the kids are still going to be subject to whatever gets slipped through the cracks between now and August when they go to the library, so I’m concerned I have to keep the pressure on – or this will just fizz out and people will just go back to their couches and their complacency and the kids will be exposed to whatever…the teacher’s unions are a problem, the American Library Association is clearly a problem – and some of the publishers,” Friedman said.

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It is not yet known if Clay County’s schools are integrated in making book decisions, or if each school will have to be challenged individually. Friedman said he noticed that Clay County’s Ridgeview High School did not appear to have as many questionable books when compared to Oakleaf High School. Is this an indication that some media specialists or librarians are bringing degenerate politics into their decisions of which books to choose and showcase? Or is there another valid reason for the differences between these two schools’ bookshelves? Friedman will find out.

He stated a media specialist for Ridgeview High School in Middleburg admitted during the June 30 School Board meeting that she had put a book on the shelf because she liked the first episode of a series and had reviewed it, and the second one came out and she was sure everybody would love it and just put it on the shelves. But she didn’t read it first.

That book was one of a five-book series Friedman cited as unacceptable, titled “A Court of Thorns and Roses” by Sarah J. Maas. On www.commonsensemedia.org a parent’s review states, “…(the) first book is not that explicit but as the books progress the explicitness increases,” describing the series as “erotic romance.” Apparently, the school media specialist assumed the author would always produce “cleaner” content.

Friedman, colorful in personality said, “I’m not looking to get gallows built to see her swing. I want the process to be revised so that she doesn’t do that anymore. They’re not personally liable if there’s an error along the way – there’s the publisher, the author, the distributors and purchasers…let’s look at these procedures at the board meeting – you’re allowed to have this crap in my high school’s library, but I’m not allowed to read from it because it will offend a child.”

I asked Friedman if he had spoken to any mental health professionals. He has.

“A psychiatrist I know who doesn’t work with rape victims but is in the mental health field – she had a perspective on it that was trying to describe how the book by Alice Sebold, “Lucky,” (Sebold’s story of being child-raped) could serve as something to help someone who had also faced horrible, similar trauma in their youth. Something to help the reader contend with that trauma. Personally, I think you could have gotten there without making it read like Hustler.”

One of Friedman’s last statements was, “Some things are so vile that I was intending to read at that meeting – things that clearly crossed the line so that they’re not subjective anymore. It’s clearly crossed the line wherever you draw the line. If you have no line, you don’t belong near children.”

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