Thursday, July 21, 2005

Fayetteville School Book Battle Goes Global!

By Debbie Pelley (click "comments" below for article).


Blogger Debbie Pelley said...

International Anti-censorship Advocates and Witches Pressure Those Involved In The Fayetteville Library Controversy

The following information illustrates how powerful, coordinated, and how far left some of the groups are that are fighting against any type of restrictions on other children's literature. Many of these people don't even have any children. For example, an international anti-censorship advocate, Michael Nellis, recently wrote the Fayetteville superintendent and Northwest Arkansas Times a letter on the library controversy. Nellis also has posted on his website a press release from 13 witch and pagan organizations, including Wiccans, and two chummy letters from Wiccans.

Nellis also has links on his site to numerous anti-censorship national and international organizations. When a man like this from another country and other national organizations attempt to pressure the superintendent, Dr. New, into seeing it their way by reason or by threat, it is time to be worried about what is going on in our children's world through the libraries. See all the documentation below.

A parent in Fayetteville, Arkansas has simply asked for some books with some extraordinarily obscene contents to be put in a separate section requiring parental permission for students to check them out. These materials are so obscene that parents are having to disconnect their filters in order to download them from this link This material is included in 3rd grade books at Fayetteville.

How can it be right for parents to go to the trouble of filtering pornographic material that comes into their homes by computer, only to have their elementary children exposed to it in the school library? How fair is it for a parent who is trying to protect her own children in her own school to have her name plastered on hate lists on national and international websites by people who have no children in any school in Arkansas? People in this battle have also received harassing e-mail communication from Wiccans.

7:47 AM, July 21, 2005  
Anonymous Mark M said...

There is another thread on this blog which documents that the Fayetteville school library's commentment to "diversity" is mostly about homosexuality and witchcraft.

7:49 AM, July 21, 2005  
Anonymous Mr. KnowItAll said...

Do people realize that the Department of Defense Authorization bill is on the Senate floor today and that it authorizes $50 BILLION more for Iraq? That makes your little book burning fiasco kind of pale by comparison dosn't it?

7:15 PM, July 21, 2005  
Blogger terrymcdermott said...

Mr. Knowitall

Out of due respect, you are comparing apples to oranges. One is an International Issue, the other is a Moral Issue.

I oppose the war in Iraq for one reason only. According to the Constitution only Congress can make a formal Declaration of War. This has not been done.

Also America is turning away from God, and perversion is being accepted into everday life. If this Nation continues to turn morality away. We will feel God's wrath

7:35 PM, July 21, 2005  
Blogger Mark Moore (Moderator) said...

This blog is devoted to Arkansas Issues. The War in Iraq is important, but not what this forum is really about.

Why are you trying to change the subject, have the facts caught you on the wrong side?

9:15 PM, July 21, 2005  
Anonymous Mr.KnowItAll said...

Terry Mcdermont,

The Iraq war is an immoral act besides being unconstitutional. If we went in because of "WMD's" why are we still there?

Mark Moore,

Iraq is a local issue. Last time I checked some of Arkansas's finest have given the ultimate sacrifice. Just because you want to trample on the 1ST amendment doesn't mean I have to like it. What facts are you referring to that gives you the right to limit speech?

9:09 AM, July 22, 2005  
Anonymous MrKnowItAll said...

Hello! Where are your facts to limit speech?

9:08 PM, July 22, 2005  
Blogger Mark Moore (Moderator) said...

I refer to the fact that the Fayetteville School Library's idea of diversity is unduly focused on the homosexual agenda and witchcraft. This is judged by the number of books they have on "homosexuality" and "witchcraft" compared to the number on say, "hispanic" topics.

You don't seem to like the idea that Debbie has tagged your side on this, so you try to change the subject to the war in Iraq.

As for my alleged "trampling" of your first amendment rights- that sounds like hysteronics. Am I keeping you from starting a blog? Am I deleting your posts from the blog I moderate? I could easily do so, without impinging on your "free speech" rights one iota. That is because while you can speak freely, I don't have to let you use my soap box to do it. I am, but I do not violate your free speech rights just because I want you to stick to Arkansas topics on Arkansas Watch.

That was my little primer on what free speech really means. It is not your free speech if I have to pay for it!

As for the idea that many of Arkansas' finest have given their lives, I am sympathetic. If you have a message or report on how it is effecting families in our state, that is suitable for AW. What is not suitable is to hop on a thread and try to change the topic just because you don't like the way it is going- if I were prone to historonics I might accuse YOU of attempted censorship by hijacking threads you don't like

10:08 PM, July 22, 2005  
Anonymous MrKnowItAll said...

"You don't seem to like the idea that Debbie has" tagged your side" on this, so you try to change the subject to the war"

What the hell is that supposed to mean ? My side? Just because the wingnut queen thinks there are to many "gay' books doesn't make it so. Just because "Eva Braun Jr." thinks there is too many "witchcraft" books doesn't make it a fact. What is she comparing this book total to besides her warped little wingnut mind? What is the national average for gay books? My point is Arkansas' own getting blown up in Iraq is a lot more serious then book's wingnut's do not like. Reference to the 1ST Amendment was about the books on the library shelf not your wingnut blog. Calm down. Your blog has taught me a lot how wingnut's think. I know if I wanted to stir up your wingnut world all I have to do is mention the word "homosexual" and ya'll are like hornets coming out of the nest. Certain key words set you to a frenzy. When you moving to South Carolina?

PS The Eva reference was for maximum political hackness effect. No personal disrespect meant.

7:07 AM, July 23, 2005  
Blogger ibcaskme said...

The truth about this matter in Fayetteville, where my family resides, is that this obscene material is freely available to my child without my permission. The government says I can't send my child to an "R" rated movie because they have deemed it too graphic or sexually explicit for my child to watch. The recording industry has to put ratings on its music to warn me of the potential for harm it could cause my child. But the school district has no limitations.

To Mr. Knowitall: It is not censorship to ask that these books be placed in a parent only area. That is called "responsible adult behavior." It is also responsible parenting.

My child is not considered an adult by society. The sad part is: The school has to call me to give her an aspirin but not to hand her potentially harmful and overly obscene reading material. It's as ludicrous as my child being able to get an abortion but unable to be given stitches without my signature.

This society is out of control when it comes to usurping parental authority. It cannot have it both ways. Some of the most ludicrous arguments I've heard are:

1. The parent is responsible for monitoring what it is their child is reading. (Great, like my kid would bring it home?!?)

2. The parent isn't smart enough to determine what is best for children to read? Written by the NCAC!!!

So, as parents, we're responsible for monitoring what they read but society says we aren't smart enough to know what is good for them.

Again, it is simply an out of control situation. Children belong to parents and not to the state, unless you are liberal and are hoping to create some elite utopia via the "government education system."

7:35 PM, July 23, 2005  
Blogger Mark Moore (Moderator) said...

We can be concerned about more than one thing at once. Right now, on this thread, some posters seem really concerned about what their kids can read at the Fayetteville Public School library without their knowledge of consent (but with of course, their tax dollars).

You seem to be asking me what the "standard" is for deciding how many homosexual and witchcraft books their should be as opposed to how many black or hispanic books.

There are lots of standards. The most liberal one I can think of is in there proportion in the population. That would mean Hispanic or Black diversity books would outnumber homosexual and witchcraft books 6 or 7 to one. The fact that the opposite is true shows a slanted perspective. That is if "proportionality" is your test.

Another standard might be "community standards". That is, how important does the community which the school proports to serve view the issue. Fayetteville is pretty liberal, but if every parent could vote I would guess they would have few or no books on witchcraft and homosexuality in the library for their children, paid for with their tax dollars.

The strictist standard, and the one Debbie seems to be for, is the classical standard. It asserts that some things really are better than others. It is founded in the idea that God is, that He has an opinion on things, and that His opinion is knowable.

Based on what is revealed in the Bible about His nature, even one library book on witchcraft and or homosexuality is a mis-use of tax dollard.

By any of those standards, there is an obsessive over-empahsis on witchcraft and homosexuality in the books at FPS library, and this must come at the expense of other things.

PS- please watch your language on this blog.

8:23 PM, July 23, 2005  
Anonymous Mark Moore said...

Ugghh! Please excuse my typing errors. My spelling was horrible in that previous post. I hope readers can make it through the maze of mis-spellings to find my point!

6:35 AM, July 24, 2005  
Anonymous MrKnowItAll said...

If you don't want your wingnut yard apes to read books you disapprove of fine. That's your right. However, you have no right to impose censorship on the rest of the children. Just tell your 'kids" to stay away from said books. If you don't trust them there is home school you know. Be honest is it the books or the questions the books will cause you to answer the real problem?

1:13 PM, July 24, 2005  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Glad to see that mrknowitall is finally out of the closet as the flaming liberal that he is.

Rather than honestly telling you what he really believed, he ran a con that Mark Moore, Terry McDermott, and Mr. Toast bought into hook, line, and sinker. I don't know what is funnier, that I right about mrknowitall or that you guys got chumped so bad.

All I have to say is, "I told you so!"

5:28 PM, July 24, 2005  
Blogger Mark Moore (Moderator) said...

First of all, I view children as a blessing from The Lord, not as "yard apes". Perhaps our difference in attitude is the root cause of our disagreement in how stringently they should be protected.

You seem to have a philosophical abstraction about censorship that you are committed to above the health and well-being of children and youth. Past a certain point I share you aborrence of censorship, but when it comes to young people I am willing to put aside such doctrinaire black and white views in favor of some reasonable gray areas.

At some point, all but the most theorhetical of us would agree that some censorship should be imposed. For example suppose some we sites were known havens for pedophiles to stalk children. Would you oppose the library installing software that banned access to such sites? Isn't that censorship?

At some point, every caring rational person wants some lines drawn to protect children. You must move past your insistence that there be no censorship whatsoever, no lines drawn whatsoever and instead engage in the realpolitik of where the lines ought to be drawn. Some will push for more restrictive lines, some for less restrictive. Working together, we will reach an agreement that appeases most of us.

The few on each extreme end of the debate are free to homeschool or have their kids experiment with sex and witchcraft. It is my belief and experience that the former children will be far better off than the latter.

So your absolutist position is not intellectually defensible. There is no way a public institution, funded with public dollars, entrusted with the publics children, should be free of public influence about what those children should be exposed to. Your idea of letting *all* ideas in gives the worst ideas, most destructive in the world an equal chance with the best ideas. This is OK in adults who have the experience to know poison when they see it- even if it has a pretty bow wrapped around it, but most of us who are paying the bills don't think it is right for children to be faced with such poisons.

As to your question about my fear of answering questions, I am afraid in some cases those questions won't even be asked until some damage is done, some bad seeds are planted. I won't know until it is too late to protect them.

7:43 PM, July 26, 2005  
Anonymous mrknowitall said...

Your right on several points (1) the "yard ape" thing was a cheap attempt at humor, please forgive me. (2) Censorship to me is so despicable that I will readily admit I may have a warped view of it. (3) I guess the 64 thousand dollar question is "who decides" A few who supposedly skip thru books and decide their 'bad" . (4) You say "Working together, we will reach an agreement that appeases most of us. " Are some people really trying to "work together" or is their agenda to promote some ideological theme.(Good or Bad) Classification of a book as too homosexual, or a book as too religious , or too whatever is a slippery slope to go down. Just speaking for myself and how I was taught to seek right from wrong from my parents. Censorship was not the topic but recognizing the value of some books was zero.(in my families opinion ) That the values instilled in me by my parents was my guide( and most of those were biblical).

As far as the anonymous wingnut calling me a Liberal. Think again.
Calling me a liberal is like calling W a conservative. And if he's what you call a conservative! God help us all.

7:45 PM, July 26, 2005  
Anonymous Laurie Taylor said...

I am very interested in "working together", I have asked that an audit be done, (to identify and rate using a set of guidelines formulated, reflecting perhaps the same rating system we use for movies, music, video games and TV. Living in a democracy (really a republic, another day’s debate) the majority of parents should be the ones that set the guidelines, this alleviates your "slippery slope".) This would allow me to tell my children not to read this material (it is hard for me to tell them what not to read if I don’t know it exists) I find being usurped consistently by the public education system, that we pay for, (the majority of people in AR have agreed on the conservative side of sexual/family issues) to be very socialistic. Why would anyone have an issue with parents knowing what their children have access too? (Unless there was an agenda?)
I do realize that not everyone shares my faith, belief s or ideology and has the same right to raise their children under their authority. As a matter of fact, I personally defended this country in a time of war so that American’s maintain such inalienable rights!!! This is my whole point! Parents must have complete knowledge, if they desire (and I do!), of what THEIR children are exposed to at all times through television, internet, music, papers, books (library or text), school, church, friends’ homes, parties, camp, etc, so that they may help their children to understand, assimilate and apply the knowledge said children receive, in order for parents to guide their children to an understanding of the world and the chaos we live in. As parents we are ultimately responsible for our children and I would hope as a free nation that my desire to raise my children with a biblical world view would be just as respected as yours to raise your children with your views.
I would also submit that liberal or conservative there is a line somewhere (I would hope) you would draw as to what is appropriate for children to see, hear and read. I wonder if you use the same language around your parents, as you do your buddies, or around children as you do your friends? Would playboy or hustler or books promoting white supremacy or radical Islamic genre, bomb making, or the advantages of drug dealing, perhaps pedophilia be okay at the school library? Everyone has a line, parents should be the ones to draw them for their children, and they need to be informed to do so.
Laurie Taylor

8:33 PM, July 26, 2005  
Blogger Mark Moore (Moderator) said...

Right now the answer to the $64,000 question of "who decides" seems to be the librarian alone. This person seems to be totally autonomous from the community he/she is supposed to be serving.

No one should be totally autonomous- that is to say unaccountalble, when the taxpayers support their operations.

So we can either all decide, or we can have a single unaccountable person make the decisions for all of us. I like Laurie's way better, don't you?

10:36 PM, July 28, 2005  
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