Parents in Madison County, Mississippi are fighting back after finding libraries full of sexually graphic books in their local public schools. After the school board slow-walked any response to parental complaints, parents packed their April meeting and a mother read aloud from the obscene books peddled to kids in Madison County Schools. Unable to ignore the heat, the board then placed the books under review and restricted check-out access, saying they plan to readdress the issue at their May 9th meeting. In the meantime, the ACLU is gearing up to oppose the parents.
Parents have united under the banner of “Madison County 4 Freedom” to take on an active role in the education of their children and the policymaking decisions that affect them, attending school board meetings and appealing to elected officials to fight for their kids.
After becoming familiar with books found in Madison County school libraries in October of last year, the group began appealing to the board as early as December 2021, but say they were met with stonewalling from district officials despite providing them with physical copies of the sexually-charged material and even a copy of the Supreme Court’s Miller Test for obscenity.
After months of inaction, the board finally announced in March that they’d be reviewing the books, but said they’d remain in circulation and available for kids to check out. That all changed this month, when Madison County 4 Freedom mom Lindsey Beckham read aloud from the “Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian” at April’s school board meeting, treating them to the type of sexually explicit content offered in their middle school libraries and airing the material out for all to digest.
Featuring passages about masturbation and having sex with trees, the book has been called into question in other districts as well and was even removed from middle school reading lists in deep-blue New York City way back in 2013.
“Yep, that’s right, I admit that I masturbate. I’m proud of it. I’m good at it. I’m ambidextrous. If there were a Professional Masturbators League, I’d get drafted number one and make millions of dollars,” reads a portion of the book that Ms. Beckham presented to board members. “And maybe you’re thinking, ‘Well, you really shouldn’t be talking about masturbation in public.’ Well, tough, I’m going to talk about it because EVERY-BODY does it. And EVERYBODY likes it. And if God hadn’t wanted us to masturbate, then God wouldn’t have given us thumbs. So I thank God for my thumbs,” the book, which also offers up CRT-style views on race, continues.
Just days after Beckham and other parents packed the April meeting and a video of Beckham reading from the book floated around social media, the Madison County School Board began to acquiesce to the will of the people, placing the “Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian” in “restricted circulation” and requiring parental consent for students to check it out. In total, 22 books that have been called into question by parents and found to contain sexually explicit or racially divisive, CRT-style concepts have been restricted, including “Black Friend: On Being a Better White Person,” as well as “Queer, There, & Everywhere,” both of which have met the ire of concerned parents in schools around the country.
According to district officials, the books will be reviewed and further addressed at the upcoming May 9th meeting of the Madison County School Board and members will offer up further plans for how they’ll cooperate with challenges from parents in the future. Despite the happy talk and sudden cooperation, parents say that Madison County Schools have blocked their access to the district’s online library catalog, raising questions surrounding their continued transparency.
Taking notice of the situation in Madison County, Mississippi is the ACLU, which has vociferously defended sexually explicit materials offered to young children in schools, claiming that books like those in Madison County are Constitutionally protected and that to remove them would violate the 1st Amendment. In recent years, the ACLU has largely been refusing to defend the 1st Amendment free speech and demonstration rights of political conservatives and right-leaning dissident groups, strengthening their existing ties to the far-left.
In a statement released on the situation in Madison County Schools, the Mississippi ACLU’s LGBTQ Justice Project Staff Attorney, McKenna Raney-Gray, signaled opposition to district parents and claimed that children “have the right to read and learn about diverse topics and viewpoints – including their own identity – inside and outside of the classroom” whether their parents like it or not. Implying that parental oversight of their children’s education is both racist and homophobic, Raney-Gray went on to say in the statement that restricting access among middle school-aged children to sexually explicit and racially divisive books is a “misguided attempt to try to suppress that right.”
Rebuking the ACLU’s claims that parents opposed to obscene books in their children’s school libraries are in violation of the Constitution, Mississippi State Senator Chris McDaniel, who has a longstanding record of fighting for American values, said in comments made to National File that he believes the law is on the side of parents and families.
“I don’t see a constitutional violation here. When a book is vulgar, you can take community standards into account,” McDaniel says, citing past Supreme Court opinions on the issue, like the Pico case, which allows for the removal of vulgar material, and saying that the situation in Madison County and others like it should be a “wake up call” for families.
“I applaud those parents in Madison County,” McDaniel went on to say.
One of those parents, Madison County mom Lindsey Beckham, tells National File that she dove headfirst into fighting COVID tyranny in schools in defense of her children. When it came to her attention that sexually-charged books were populating local school libraries, she knew she had to stay in the arena and further organize for parental rights where they matter the most. As for removing or restricting the books, Beckham says it’s simple: Enforce existing rules and laws and stop exposing kids to obscenity.
“As an adult, that material is hard to look at,” Beckham says of much of the books’ content. “Not to mention it’s illegal. There are laws protecting minors from obscene material and if these books are not obscene material, then I don’t know what it is. This is not about race. This is not about gender,” she went on to say. “This is about protecting our children and doing what is right. It’s standing up for what is right and refusing to be silent and allowing the world to indoctrinate our children. Not on my watch!”
Beckham says that she and other Madison County parents plan to again pack the school board meeting on May 9th and that a “big group” is ready to make their voices heard. They’ve also sent a letter out to local leadership, including law enforcement and those in the faith community, to encourage their attendance. As for potential opposition from the ACLU and others on the left who have sought to infiltrate school libraries and curricula, Beckham says that Madison County parents aren’t backing down.
“It’s our job to speak out for the vulnerable and be a voice for the voiceless and it’s our job to parent our children and it’s the greatest job that we could ever have,” says Beckham. “And I will fight until there is no longer a breath in me to protect our children from things that are not okay for them.”