Atlanta Area Superintendent Stands Firm On Opposing ‘Pornographic Material’ In Schools After Calls For His Removal, Says It’s About ‘Good And Evil’

"You can blame me."
LONDON - DECEMBER 1: A student studies in the main library at the University College London on December 1, 2003 in London. British Prime Minister Tony Blair faces mounting revolt from MPs following legislation proposals announced by the Queen in her speech to Parliament to allow universities treble their fees. (Photo by Ian Waldie/Getty Images)
Ian Waldie/Getty Images

A school superintendent in the Atlanta area this week doubled down on his promise to protect students from “pornographic material” after critics called for him to be removed for banning books.

Superintendent Chris Ragsdale of the Cobb County School District faced both critics and supporters at a heated school board meeting on Thursday, where he emphasized his “professional and moral obligation to protect Cobb’s students.”

“I, as superintendent, will not knowingly allow children in the Cobb County School District to access lewd, vulgar, sexually explicit, obscene, or pornographic material,” Ragsdale said, according to the school district’s online post about the board meeting.

“I want to be very clear. This situation is about right and wrong, good and evil. There is no middle ground in this situation. You are either in favor of providing inappropriate material to children, or you are against it. I assure you. I am against it, and I will not be moved,” the superintendent said.

Ragsdale stood firm in his decision to make several controversial books unavailable to students in the district, including the books “Flamer” and “Me, Earl, and the Dying Girl.”

“Flamer” is a graphic novel about a teenage boy who is bullied for acting “gay.” One picture in the book shows a teenage boy bending down in the shower as another boy washes himself standing up. Another scene shows teenage boys masturbating together into a bottle, and one boy says, “if you don’t c** you have to drink it.” No genitals are shown in the pictures.

“Me, Earl, and the Dying Girl” contains references to masturbation and oral sex.

“If you need someone to blame for deciding to remove books … you can blame me,” Superintendent Ragsdale said. “The Cobb County School District will not knowingly allow this material to be accessed by children in this District.”


“The Cobb County School District is not engaging in book-banning or book-burning,” Superintendent Ragsdale said. “We are following well-established federal and state law and policies and practices of this District that have been with us for years, if not decades.”

He called it a “radical new idea” that “all children should somehow be forced to encounter sexually explicit language and instruction while at school.”

The superintendent also said the district will continue to review books in the school libraries and will pull books found to contain lewd, sexually explicit, or pornographic material.

Ragsdale also said several book fairs and other reading events have not been canceled, contrary to rumors.

Ragsdale’s critics showed up at Thursday’s board meeting and reportedly turned their backs to him when he gave his remarks.

Opponents also held a “Rally to Replace Ragsdale” outside before the meeting. The superintendent’s critics accused him of failing to address discrimination and safety issues as well.

“A gross failure of leadership with poor decisions related to students experiencing racism, homophobia, antisemitism, parents upset with school safety policies,” one woman told Fox5.

Supporters of the superintendent showed up as well and defended his decisions.

“Some people are opposing him, saying he’s done bad stuff, but we’re just here to show support for him,” parent Samuel Thelen told Fox5.

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The Daily Wire   >  Read   >  Atlanta Area Superintendent Stands Firm On Opposing ‘Pornographic Material’ In Schools After Calls For His Removal, Says It’s About ‘Good And Evil’