Rebuttal to Mitchell’s Blog-“Moms for Liberty is coming for your books…and much more” | Eclectablog. His blog is full of untruthful claims without supporting facts to back it up. Please read the following:
This is our first Guest Blog post! Mary in the Library Michigan has a lot to say about Mitchell Robinson’s recent blog post. Enjoy! Thank you Mary in the Library for sharing all of this great insight!
Mitchell states this: “Moms for Liberty (M4L), an astro-turf group that is probably not actually many moms and definitely not about liberty” Moms for Liberty | Moms for Liberty
Mary in the Library Michigan Response: First let me start by saying Mom’s for Liberty is a national group with thousands of Moms, Dads, Grandparents, Aunts, Uncles and Friends. Their mission is dedicated to fighting for the survival of America by unifying, educating and empowering parents to defend their parental rights at all levels of government.
Mitchell states this: “one M4L person made a social media post last night with the header, “WARNING GRAPHIC”, claimed that “Mitchell Robinson thinks children should have these books at their disposal”, and then expressed her support for my opponents in the upcoming general election for the State Board of Education.”
Mary in the Library Michigan Response: It is everyone’s right to advocate for the candidates that they want in office. The books that are being discussed are age inappropriate and you are okay with them being in schools as per your blog states. These books contain sexual content, incest, violence/rape/abuse/sexual assault, self-harm/suicide, sodomy, drug/alcohol/cigarette use, profanity, derogatory terms, controversial cultural or political or racial commentary, controversial religious commentary, inflammatory, racial commentary, inflammatory social commentary and alternate gender/sexual ideologies.
Here are a couple of examples of books found in Michigan schools and all over the nation:
*****WARNING: GRAPHIC CONTENT*****
Lucky by Alice Sebold- https://tinyurl.com/yc6tutuw Rated 5/5 Summary of Concerns: This book contains obscene excerpts involving sexual assault/battery; sexual activities; sexual nudity; profanity; and drug use. This book was written about the authors rape in college. Did you know that this author wrongfully accused a black man of that rape? She has since apologized and had to rewrite her book after the man’s case was overturned. Alice Sebold Apologizes to Man Wrongly Convicted of Raping Her – The New York Times (nytimes.com)
Layla by Colleen Hoover-Layla.pdf (booklooks.org) Rated 4/5. Book Summary: A young man falls in love with a woman but discovers that his past has come to haunt him. Summary of Concerns: This book contains obscene sexual activities; sexual nudity; profanity; drug and alcohol use; and violence including suicidal ideations. Did you know that the author of this book rated it herself as WHOA-Very Mature-Dark? The recommended reading age is 22 and above. Reading Order/Age Graphic | Colleen Hoover
Triangles: A Novel by Ellen Hopkins https://tinyurl.com/27cddrpw Rated 5/5. Book Summary:
Three women with different relationship statuses, discover more about themselves while having sexual relationships with mutual acquaintances. Summary of Concerns: This book has sexually obscene sexual activities including sadomasochism, sexual nudity, profanity, alcohol abuse, drug use, controversial religious commentary, and alternate sexualities.
I could keep going. There are over 300 books that have been found in Michigan schools that are age inappropriate. Here is the rating system that has been used for these books: Home | HEED Parent Teacher Alliance (ratedbooks.org)
Mitchell states: “Let’s be clear—the issue here is not porn in school libraries”
Mary in the Library Michigan Response: Did you know that when people went to printing companies to print large size pictures of the images in the books that ARE in school’s library’s they were told No, the images were pornographic! But for some reason you say no, it is not porn.
Juliet takes a Breath (graphic novel) by Gabbi Rivera-In the review process. There is a book also. Ihttps://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1Sbrq3blKMCAKq7VQjI8GPatD_6KSF2wj?usp=sharing
Mitchell states: “Groups like M4L are using this “manufactured crisis” as an excuse to demonize LGBT kids and teachers”
Mary in the Library Michigan Response: Obviously from the information I have provided you already you can tell that this is not a “manufactured crisis”. No one is demonizing LGBTQA kids or teachers.
Mitchell states: “the vast majority of the books these folks are identifying are not actually *in* school libraries”
Mary in the Library Michigan Response: This is absolutely a bold face lie! Almost every school in Michigan has a library catalog that stakeholders can access via online. Follett-Destiny is one of the most popular ones used. Discover | Follett School Solutions | School Picker, once you are on the site you can search for books that ARE in the schools. Some schools have their library catalog directly on their school’s webpage to search.
Mitchell states: “Because Moms for Liberty recently shared a list of 41 books they demanded be removed from school libraries, including classics such as Slaughterhouse-Five and The Kite Runner”
Mary in the Library Michigan Response: What are the concerns with these two books:
Slaughterhouse-Five: Summary of Concerns: This book contains explicit violence including animal cruelty, inexplicit sexual activities including bestiality, sexual nudity, profanity, and inflammatory religious commentary.
Here is the book review.
Rated 4/5: https://tinyurl.com/bdfzp849
The Kite Runner: Summary of Concerns: This book contains explicit sexual activities including sexual assault and battery, prostitution involving minors and adults, explicit violence, and mild profanity.
Here is the book review. It is rated 4/5: https://tinyurl.com/yc8mjxc3
Saline, MI NEW SEX EDUCATION CLASS:
The curriculum is called Positive Prevention Plus (pictures below)
Mitchell states: “It’s also worth mentioning that many of the books singled out to be removed from school libraries are award-winning prose, poetry, and graphic novels, chosen for the thoughtful way in which they approach and integrate challenging and often difficult themes. “
Mary in the Library Michigan Response: Just because a book won an award does not make it age appropriate for minors. Let me refresh your memory, a minor is a person under the age of full legal responsibility. You become an adult at the age of 18.
Mitchell states: “To be sure, not every one of these resources is right or even appropriate for every student. Matters of age and developmentally appropriate practice are crucial considerations in matching texts with students’ interests and needs.”
Mary in the Library Michigan Response: So, you admit that some of these “resources” (Books) are not appropriate. Why can’t there be a rating system for these books? This is a proposed book rating system: Ratings System — Book Looks. Almost every media has one but not books. Why not consider a recent resolution that was presented to the MI State BOE in 8/2022-Sexuality and Gender Resolution – Google Docs?
VIDEO GAMES AND APPS:
The Marvel Rating System assigns each comic book one of the following ratings:
- ALL AGES – Appropriate for all ages.
- T – Appropriate for most readers, but parents are advised that they might want to read before or with younger children.
- T+ TEENS AND UP – Appropriate for teens 13 and above.
- PARENTAL ADVISORY – Appropriate for 15 and up. Similar to T+, but featuring more mature themes and/or more graphic imagery. Recommended for teen and adult readers.
- EXPLICIT CONTENT – 18+ years old.
COMMON AUTHORS WITH RATINGS ABOVE 4:
Mitchell states: “These “concerns” about pornographic “content” flooding school libraries are being manufactured by the same groups that fought against children wearing masks and getting vaccinated during a global pandemic and are now also targeting “content” about anti-racism, trans, gay, and Lesbian students and teachers, and civil and human rights.”
Mary in the Library Michigan Response: Again, this is not a “manufactured crisis”. These books contain content that is age inappropriate, and parents have every right to know what is available to their children (minor). These books ARE in schools. All types of age-inappropriate books are being rated, there is no one target.