First lady Jill Biden, who got her doctoral degree in educational from the University of Delaware, implicitly criticized American parents who feel inappropriate books are lying on the bookshelves of the children’s school libraries.
In recent years, many parents have stood up to school boards and denounced schools for their inclusion of books they feel teach inappropriate values to their children.
Biden was prompted by NBC’s “Today” host Sheinelle Jones, who started by noting something that would have caused nary a ripple in the past.
“Parents and politicians are now weighing in on what books should be in our school libraries and what their kids are being taught. Where is the line in your opinion, with how much of a say parents should have when it comes to what their kids are learning in school,” she asked.
“Well, I think with the pandemic, parents saw how hard teachers work and how difficult this job really is,” Biden answered. “And I think if they work together in their school districts and decide what they want with their curriculum.”
“Is there a balance between this book should be in the library, this book is under review?” Jones asked.
“All books should be in the library,” Biden pronounced. “All books. This is America. We don’t ban books.”
In November 2021, the mother of a Fairfax high school student in Virginia was prevented from entering the school’s library. Stacy Langton was told by Fairfax High School’s acting principal Maureen Keck she was forbidden from entering the library, the Washington Examiner reported.
Prior to her being barred from the library, as Luke Rosiak of The Daily Wire reported, Langton had made national news after reading aloud to the school board several books available to students that included graphic depictions of sex and pedophilia.
As opposed to Jill Biden’s laissez-faire attitude regarding books that might be inappropriate for children, in March, Florida GOP Governor Ron DeSantis signed HB 1467, the “K-12 Education” bill, into law. The bill stated:
Each district school board must adopt a policy regarding an objection by a parent or a resident of the county to the use of a specific instructional material, which clearly describes a process to handle all objections and provides for resolution.
The process must provide the parent or resident the opportunity to proffer evidence to the district school board that: Any material used in a classroom, made available in a school library, or included on a reading list contains content that is pornographic or prohibited under s. 847.012, is not suited to student needs and their ability to comprehend the material presented, or is inappropriate for the grade level and age group for which the material is used.
DeSantis called the bill the “strongest curriculum transparency legislation in the country.”