We're Cleaning up the Library, But ...
Several School Board Members still must be held accountable at the polls
We are winning. We now have three new library board members who, together with Laura Alerding, make a majority of the board. This new majority understands that books the library promotes to minors as young as eleven years old should not:
Recommend talking to strangers online about kinky sex
Contain pictures of pornographic actors sitting on each other’s faces
Ask minor children whether they’d be interested in sending nude pictures of themselves to others (a felony in Indiana!)
Ask minor children if they’d like to try group sex, vibrating butt-plugs, strap-ons, bondage, floggers, whips, blindfolds, or anal sex
Promote drug use, sexualized cross-dressing, ingestion of semen, pornography, and group masturbation.
None of this is an exaggeration: all of these are examples of content found in books that have been promoted to children as young as eleven by the Hamilton East Public Library (HEPL) in the last year. We have not asked for any books to be banned. We have only asked that books with this sort of content be moved to the adult collection.
The new board members have already started to work, and it’s incredibly refreshing to see the board function as an oversight body instead of just rubber stamping everything without question. This doesn’t end with getting the porn problem under control, either. These are impressive people who know a lot about things like budgets, contracts, and real estate, so they can help to provide the oversight that has been missing on all sorts of topics at HEPL in the last several years.
Hold HSE Board President Julie Chambers Accountable
In the wake of these developments, another library Board Member, Brian Meyer, has stepped down from the board. His replacement will be appointed by Julie Chambers, the current President of the HSE School Board.
At no point since I became involved with these issues at the end of 2021 has Mr. Meyer ever answered a single one of my questions about the inappropriate content in the library or helped us to solve these problems. When I took his behavior up with the HSE Board, both by email and at a board meeting over the summer, my concerns were promptly dismissed. Ms. Chambers stated to me in an email that she had no reason to question Mr. Meyer’s performance on the HEPL Board.
For this reason, I predict that Ms. Chambers will appoint a fringe-left activist to replace Mr. Meyer, and that her appointee will continue resisting our efforts to stop the absurdity at HEPL. But, whether or not this prediction is right, Ms. Chambers’ dismissal of our concerns is reason enough to oppose her re-election, and she should definitely be held accountable for her actions at the polls on November 8. If you live in District 4, please vote for her opponent, Ben Orr, who wants to see these problems fixed.
Hold Noblesville President Joe Forgey Accountable
Additionally, I want to remind readers that Joe Forgey, the President of the Noblesville School Board, was dismissive of our concerns several weeks ago. We attended a Noblesville School Board meeting to bring the behavior of Michelle Payne to his attention, as she is one of the Library Board Members who has repeatedly obstructed our attempts to fix these problems. We urged him to require Ms. Payne to answer a few questions about inappropriate content at the library before going ahead with her reappointment. Instead, Mr. Forgey ignored our request and unhesitatingly re-appointed Ms. Payne without comment.
Mr. Forgey is running for re-election as well, and I’m calling on all my Noblesville readers to turn out on November 8 for his opponents, Misti Ray and Melba Kiser.
Hold HSE Board Member Janet Pritchett Accountable
Ms. Pritchett is also currently running for re-election. She recently made a statement about these issues at the library on her campaign Facebook page. Here is part of her statement:
We have to create a well-rounded collection that fits the needs of our patrons. ALL patrons. Excluding books because they make a small subset of adults uncomfortable does not result in a well-rounded collection. A librarian’s job is to make materials available for people when they need them. If someone does not have a need for a book, they simply need not check it out.
This reveals Ms. Pritchett’s fundamental confusion about what the problem is here. The problem with the books in question is not that the books make me uncomfortable (they don’t). Rather, the problem with these books is that they are objectively harmful to children. The library’s own lawyer has explained that “objectively harmful to children” is what we call it when a book tells children to do things that established experts (such as the FBI!) warn against. Additionally, the presence of these books in the children’s section reveals gross incompetence on the part of responsible library staff. That’s the problem.
Ms. Pritchett goes on:
Later on in that meeting, the attorney that the board was referring to stated very clearly that the books in question are not defined as pornography. There was one sentence in one of the books that referred to gathering more information online, which the attorney agreed was ill advice, however, moving that one is up to them.
A couple of things here.
First, the lawyer only said that ‘pornography’ does not have a legal definition. But the book in question contains explicit images of nude pornographic actors, one of whom is sitting on the other one’s face. Ms. Pritchett can pretend that she doesn’t know that this is a pornographic image is if she wants to, but she is clearly not telling the truth here.
Second, the book in question talks about more than “gathering more information online” as Pritchett misleadingly states. See the relevant page for yourself:
This plainly tells eleven year old readers to go online and talk to strangers about “kinks,” and it says that this is a safe thing for them to do. Ms. Pritchett’s description (“gathering information”) is therefore highly misleading. Indeed, this is the book that the library’s lawyer described as “objectively harmful to children.”
If you live in District 2, please vote for Ms. Pritchett’s opponent, Dr. Juanita Albright, on November 8. Among her many other virtues, Juanita is aware that it is completely nuts to tell eleven year old children to go online and talk to strangers about kinky sex.
If you’re in District 2 and you’d like a yard sign for Juanita, let me know (chadRcarmichael@gmail.com), and I will happily deliver it to your house!