Indian River County School District Removes 5 Out of 156 Books Deemed Pornographic

Banned books in Indian River County schools
Banned books in Indian River County schools

Moms for Liberty lost their bid to remove 156 books in K-12 school libraries, which they felt were pornographic. However, the school board voted 4-1 to remove 5 of the books.

The list of books contained what is described as “shocking content.” In addition, our staff at Sebastian Daily read a few of the books and found some of the content very disturbing. 

Jennifer Pippin, the chairman for Moms for Liberty Indian River County, described some of the books at the school board meetings.

“There’s no educational value to children reading about rape, incest, bestiality, pedophilia, sexually explicit content, or sexual acts,” Pippin said.

“The statutes are in place to protect children from the authors, publishers, and the people who want to sexualize children. What adults do behind closed doors is their own business. Parents have the final say in what’s best for their children,” Pippin added.

In addition, some books contain references to “cults, peer pressure to commit suicide, severe violence, murder, severe drug use, and cannibalism,” Pippin told Sebastian Daily in December.

At the February business meeting of the Indian River County School Board, Chairwoman Teri L. Barenborg, Vice-Chair Dr. Peggy Jones, Brian M. Barefoot, and Dr. Mara Schiff all voted only to remove 5 of the books. Jacqueline Rosario was the voting to keep them out of the libraries.

In a recent press release seen on Moms for Liberty and We the People Indian River County, Pippin was told by Assistant School Superintendent Richard Myhre that the school will only determine the book definitions based on “age-appropriate.” 

But Pippin said the books are deemed illegal, and the School District of Indian River County is still breaking the law. She pointed to Florida State Statues that protect children from this reading material deemed inappropriate in the schools. She also said the decision to redefine the books as “age-appropriate” was done without any input from the public.

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According to the distributed press release, “they alone determined that reading about a rape will help students.”

The school board attorney also said, “If the work taken as a whole contains other serious literary, artistic, political, or scientific value, then it is not prohibited under Section 847.012, Fla. Stat, because then it is not deemed harmful to minors.”

You can read the list of books online and why they are deemed inappropriate made available by Moms for Liberty.

Moms for Liberty encourages parents to attend the next school board meeting on March 14th, 2022.

Opposing Views

However, some people oppose the ban, calling it a violation of free speech.

Michael C. Marsh, an advocate in Indian River County does not feel the books in question violate the Florida State Statutes.

“Books that are protected under our first amendment and that does not violate Florida State Statutes nor School board policies,” Marsh told Sebastian Daily.

Library Book Use – Permission Form

Parents can now fill out a form permitting what students can check out from the library. There are many options, such as listing books their child isn’t allowed to check out or opting them out of checking out any material. You can download the form here.

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About Andy Hodges 2809 Articles
Andy Hodges was born in Annapolis, Maryland, and raised in Jupiter, Florida. He has been a radio and TV personality since the mid-1980s. He has worked for WFLX-TV (Fox 29), WIRK, WLIZ, WIXI, WKSY, WRMF, and others. In 1994, Andy took a break from broadcasting and was a software and systems engineer for various companies. In 2002, he permanently moved back to Sebastian, where Andy's family has lived for over 45 years. He returned to the broadcasting sector in 2005. Andy joined Sebastian Daily as our editor-in-chief in 2016.