BEAUFORT COUNTY, SC (WSAV) – Should they stay or go?
That’s the question when it comes to some controversial books in Beaufort County School libraries.
Some parents and citizens are challenging the decision to keep those books on the shelves.
The Beaufort County Board of Education heard both sides of the issue at their meeting Tuesday night.
Is it “banning” a book or just protecting our kids from being exposed to sexual and violent content too soon?
That’s the question that many people brought to the Board of Education.
A total of 97 books were pulled from school shelves temporarily so committees consisting of citizens and school employees could read and react to their messages and content.
In all, six different committees decided to put all six books back in schools, some in high school only, and some in all schools.
But a challenge was submitted by some citizens who believe the School Board should make the final decision.
People on both sides of the issue made their voices heard before any vote was taken.
“The value for those who are straight to be able to read this type of story elevates the ability for those who are gay or trans to live their life safely and accepted. Reading these stories builds empathy, and understanding and makes them stronger together.”
“It may seem to you that only a small handful of people are in favor of removing these books in comparison to the people who have come out to show their support for these books to be available. However, I can assure you our support is much larger than it appears.”
“Books containing subjects like surviving child abuse, discrimination, racism, and misogyny speak to me the most because even though they are hard experiences for me they are my truths. These topics they hurt to talk about but people expressing their truth is not something you can disagree with.”
“I’m against banning books. I support freedom of speech. Freedom of expression is only protected under the test of time place and manner. Classrooms are neither the time nor the place for books with sexually explicit material to be in front of minors.”
In the end, the Board of Education voted to confirm the committee’s decision and keep all the books on shelves.
It also re-evaluated the “opt-out form” for parents who want to limit access to books or videos for their kids.
Committees will vote on the remaining 91 books before any are put back in schools.