Noblesville School Board President Joe Forgey Dismisses Worry About Sexualizing Kids at HEPL
Noblesville Mayor Chris Jensen endorsed Forgey's reelection, but has no comment
In February, we somehow managed to convince Hamilton East Public Library Director Edra Waterman to move two books containing mature sexual content to the adult section. In an unexpected turn of events, she not only moved the books in question, but the entire youth non-fiction collection. When I asked her why she finally agreed to move these books, she said:
This approach to non-fiction was recommended because it is a common approach in public libraries, and it made good sense for the size of the collection.
According to Ms. Waterman, then, it was not the sexual content of the books which led her to move them, but the size of the collection to which they belonged. I guess we just happened to be raising concerns about the content at the same time. What a coincidence!
Seriously, though, Ms. Waterman appears to have made a false statement in this instance. It seems clear that she moved these books because of public pressure related to their sexual content, but she apparently won’t admit that, and she stands by her previous judgment that the content of the books was appropriate for children.
The current leadership at HEPL therefore continues to be incompetent to oversee children’s programming. And this is additionally reflected in their recent book clubs for children as young as eleven, in which they distribute “free” (i.e. taxpayer-funded) books that contain talk of pornography, masturbation, drug use, sexualized cross-dressing, ingestion of semen, anal sex, and pervasive use of the F-word. Without parental permission, HEPL leadership wants to distribute these books and discuss them with children. It’s sick.
In light of all this, when HEPL Board Member Michelle Payne was up for reappointment at the Noblesville School Board meeting on June 21, I thought it was important to find out whether she agreed with Ms. Waterman in continuing to support porn and other inappropriate materials for little kids, and whether she supported the current approach to sexual content in programming for kids at HEPL. Accordingly, I asked her two questions in an email the week before she was to be reappointed:
Did she agree that the books we identified needed to be moved to the adult section based on their content?
Did she agree that parental permission should be required for an eleven-year-old to participate in HEPL activities involving mature sexual content?
Ms. Payne did not respond to my email. So we brought this fact to the attention of the Noblesville School Board and challenged them to get her answers to these questions prior to reappointment. Since Ms. Payne was unable to attend the Board meeting, her reappointment should have been tabled pending her answers to these questions.
Instead, the Board ignored our plea and voted 3-1 to reappoint Ms. Payne without requiring her to answer our questions, displaying a complete disregard for the ongoing sexualization of little children at HEPL. Since that vote on Tuesday, there was another HEPL Board meeting, and Michelle Payne was there, advocating against adopting a policy requiring parental permission for HEPL employees to discuss mature sexual content with little kids.
The point is that the three Noblesville School Board Members who voted to reappoint Ms. Payne have thereby knowingly thrown their support behind continued sexualization of little children. These three Board Members are:
Mr. Forgey in particular is running for reelection this November, and I hope that Noblesville voters will make it clear to him that they will not tolerate his support for sexualizing little kids.
Noblesville Mayor Chris Jensen supports Joe Forgey’s reelection:
I reached out to Mayor Jensen for comment on Mr. Forgey’s decision to reappoint Michelle Payne in light of these issues. He did not respond. Does Mayor Jensen also support the continued sexualization of little children at HEPL? Let’s hope not, but only time will tell.