A concerned parent was cut off and subsequently disallowed from speaking at a Cherokee County School Board (CCSB) meeting last week after she read a graphic passage from a book that is required for some students to read.
Michelle Brown recounted for the board the process by which a book can be removed from Cherokee County School District’s libraries or classrooms, which she said includes significant wait times, and the required purchase of 20 copies of the book at taxpayer expense for an independent committee to review.
According to Brown, even if the committee decides the book is too graphic, students who are required to read that book for a class can appeal its ban, which is what happened in the case of the book Homegoing.
When Brown began reading a passage from that book, she was interrupted by a school board member.
“Excuse me, we have children at home,” the board member said. “It’s livestreaming, and it’s really not appropriate – ” the member said before Brown interrupted her.
“Don’t you find the irony in that?” Brown asked sharply. “You’re saying exactly what I’m telling you. You’re giving it to our children. I would never give this to my children.”
Brown was then declared “out of order,” and she was not allowed to finish speaking during her allotted time.
Watch the exchange:
WATCH: Cherokee County School District Chairwoman says a parent is “out of order” for describing sexually obscene material that the district gives to students.
If something is too obscene to be spoken about in front of adults, then it’s too obscene to be given to children. pic.twitter.com/N38G1HTBbe
— Jenny Beth Martin (@jennybethm) March 18, 2022
According to The Cherokee Tribune & Herald, another protestor was escorted out of the meeting by police for yelling that School Board Chair Kyla Cromer should be arrested.
“It’s unfortunate that that disruption occurred,” board member Clark Menard reportedly said in response. “You’ll probably hear that this person was removed because they disagreed with our challenge of school book policy. They were not removed for that. We understand that there are disagreements with our policy of reviewing material, we are listening to that, we are reacting to that as need be, but this person was removed because they were warned that they were disrupting the meeting.”
According to the paper, 14 books are currently being challenged by parents and reviewed by the independent committee.
Cromer did not return a Monday comment request from The Georgia Star News.
Brown and other protestors join an ever-growing list of parents in Georgia and around the country who are displeased with what their children are being taught in schools.
Many have also protested mask mandates and other COVID-19 restrictions.
One of those parents is Karen Pirkle, who has been arrested twice for protesting the Gwinnett County School Board and banned from the property.
Protesting has become so widespread that the Georgia Senate last week passed a bill to protect parent protestors rights.
SB 588 “provide[s] that all meetings of local boards of education shall be open to the public except as otherwise provided by law …” and “provide[s] that members of the public shall not be removed from such public meetings except for actual disruption and in accordance with rules adopted and published by the local board of education,” according to the bill’s text.
“I applaud the Senate and pray that the House will pass this bill,” Pirkle told The Georgia Star News last Thursday. “It would allow parents to speak freely without revenge, such as criminal trespasses and arrests. It solidifies the constitutional rights our forefathers gave us. Our school boards need to understand parents are going to be involved, and need to be heard. I thank our legislature representatives, especially Butch Miller and Clint Dixon for leading the charge, and for listening to their constituents.”
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