Hundreds of concerned Dearborn, Michigan parents Thursday attended a school board meeting to express their strong objections over the inclusion of books inculcating sexually deviant themes in the school library.
Parents from a variety of backgrounds, including Arab American, Muslim, and Christian conservative, banded together to make their voices heard on behalf of their children.
Thursday's meeting followed one on Monday that was shut down by officials over what were reported to be fire code safety concerns due to the large number of attendees. Some saw it as an attempt to silence the concerned parents.
One parent who spoke out Thursday night claimed the first meeting's dismissal to be a violation of Michigan law 380.10, which states:
It is the natural and fundamental right of parents and legal guardians to determine and direct the care, teaching, and education of their children.
He further commented that “the fundamental rights of the parents is a huge issue right now in this country and across this state.”
The books in question, including such titles as This Book is Gay and All Boys Aren't Blue have been described as containing same-sex pornography, which the parents claimed is blatantly unsuitable for young children.
Parent Ziad Abdalmalik commented, “A normal, psychologically sound and stable mind would come to the conclusion that that specific material is nothing but sexually explicit.”
While some in attendance argued that protests against the books were in truth a veiled attack on people, this claim was denied by several parents who spoke.
One man passionately emphasized the children as the primary concern:
I'm against the books. . . . You're worried about the gay people? No problem. We're not worried about the gay people; we're worried about our children. . . . We don't want our children to have access to these books.
Kristina Karamo, Michigan candidate for Secretary of State, added her voice to the debate as well:
The fundamental existence of school is not to learn about sexual pleasure, not to learn about new sex acts. The fundamental purpose of school is to prepare our kids to be successful adults who can go off and have careers. And it is up to every parent to then teach their kids morality. It is out of place for the school to do it, and I reject any notion that parents here are filled with hate or bigotry. The parents don't want their kids sexualized.
Throughout the course of the meeting, many parents were able to courageously speak their minds and hearts in defense of their children and their parental rights.