EDMOND, Okla. (KFOR) – Opposing sides went before the Edmond Public School Board Monday night to discuss a hot-button topic: books some parents feel are inappropriate for the classroom.
“Banning a book is motivated by fear and a desire for control,” said Tia Carlton, a concerned parent.
“Me and many parents again, are not for banning books. We are for informed consent,” said Emily Christiansen, another parent.
Some parents said they want parents to have options on what their children are reading in school classrooms.
“Parents must have transparency and choices in regards to books in their kids reading and curriculum,” said Christiansen.
Many parents did not want to go on camera to speak, but a group of parents gave News 4 and other parents at the meeting a hand-written note.
“We are not wanting to ban books! We are simply wanting to inform parents who may not want their children reading these kinds of books, to have the option to read more appropriate material,” the note read.
The group has also put together a website, edmonddidyouknow.com, where parents have done their own book reports with a summary of required reading by grade, including curse words and questionable topics in each.
“If your book’s complete content cannot be discussed in class due to explicit language and/or sexual content, parents should be informed and given consent,” said Christiansen.
Parents on the other side of the issue said the topics may be uncomfortable, but so is life.
“Books are ideas. If an idea makes us uncomfortable, we need to ask ourselves why we feel uncomfortable,” said Carlton.
Those parents said a school library is often the student’s only point of reference to find the answers to life’s tough problems.
“As much as we parents say ‘I will teach my children about this at home more often,’ We don’t or we don’t tell them in time,” said Carlton.
“Parents are their children’s experts and partnering together is key to the success of every student,” said Christiansen.