GRANBURY (CBS 11 NEWS) – Hood County commissioners spent nearly three hours Tuesday listening to members of the public on both sides of arguments over some controversial books.
“If you don’t want your children to read these books don’t check them out!” one woman told the court.
The books at the whirlwind’s center are “This Day In June,” an illustrated LGBT history, and “My Boy Princess,” about a 5-year-old boy who wants to dress like a princess. It started at the library when a local child discovered “This Day In June” on a display normally reserved for children’s books. His mother, Melanie Graft, addressed the court. “I’ve been forced into this discussion because my 4-year-old picked up one of the books in question from a prominent carousal and held it up to me. We’ve now had to have conversations which I would have preferred to have in a few years,” she said.
Others supported Graft, arguing the books are so offensive to traditional child-rearing that they’re an abuse of taxpayer funds and should be banned or at least hidden away. “And they [children] need to be taught appropriate levels at appropriate times And having a book that is not appropriate for that child in our society is not what it should be.”
But Deanna Mehaffey, who has both straight and gay sons, disagrees. “These are our civil liberties and our rights as taxpayers. Libraries serve the entire population of the community.”
After consulting with their county attorney, commissioners decided no matter what their individual preferences might be, there are no legal or constitutional reasons to do anything but support their professional librarian, Courtney Kincaid.
“Nothing’s changed,” Kincaid told CBS 11 News following the commissioners court meeting. “We are going to stand by what we have done.”
Kincaid has put “My Boy Princess” in the children’s books area, while “This Day In June” goes into adult non-fiction. She defends both books, pointing out there is no obscenity. “It’s adult issues, of course. But what children would probably get out of this is a pretty book, pretty illustrations, and people just being accepted. And appreciated and not bullied.”
Kincaid continued saying, “We have lesbians and gays in the community and they deserve to have items in the collection for themselves or for their families.” Her advice to traditional parents who disagree with either book’s position? “Don’t check it out. We have many books and items that they would appreciate to check out.”
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