Michigan School District Takes Center Stage As Tensions Rise Over Sexually Explicit Content

A Dearborn school board meeting was cut short when protesters voiced concern about LGBTQ books.
Dearborn Public Schools Board of Education Meeting October 10th, 2022
Photo: Screenshot/Dearborn Public Schools/YouTube

On Monday night, yet another school board made headlines for its handling of pushback against LGBTQ content in classrooms. The Dearborn Public School Board of Education’s open meeting ended abruptly as protestors from the community expressed concern over sexually explicit literature appearing in school libraries. Although police officers requested silence during the meeting, protestors representing both sides of the issue continued arguments as board members concluded the meeting and excused themselves.

Hussein Berry, a local school board member, was correct when he noted that heated discussions over appropriate content are not unique to Dearborn, but that the topic is  “a national debate.” In March of 2022, a local parent was silenced at a Cherokee County, Georgia School Board meeting after reading a passage from a book found in a local school library. Similarly, in Fairfax County, Virginia, another mom was recently censored when she read a passage from Gender Queer, a book found in many of the county’s high school classrooms.

Protestors at the Dearborn school board meeting represented various views on the issue. Days before the meeting, local Islamic leaders urged their congregations to oppose sexually explicit content in public school libraries. On the contrary, other local community leaders noted that “Islam is a religion of love, peace and tolerance, not a religion of insults, violence and threats.” The comments made in Dearborn may represent American communities at large; even leaders of the same denominations are not unified on the subject. After releasing a new policy which allows families to opt their children out of the ability to check out books at school libraries, the district superintendent recognized that “the community has many strong feelings on both sides of the issue.”

Unironically, posters held by protestors said “Keep your dirty books in closet,” while others read “Protect the Children.” Dearborn has become known for its large Muslim community in recent years, but Christian leaders also took issue with the sexually explicit materials.

“As a Muslim reformer and parent who rejects Islamic interpretations that criminalize homosexuality, I knew it was just a matter of time before the unholy ‘intersectional’ alliance between woke activists and Muslim fundamentalists would unravel,” Asra Nomani, a senior fellow at Independent Women’s Network, told Chalkboard Review. “And it happened in prime time for us in Dearborn, Michigan, because woke educrats insist on violating the one taboo we used to all agree was off-limits: the hypersexualization of children.”

While the school board noted that the meeting’s abrupt recess was due to fire code restraints, the members will resume discussions today at a larger facility. The board also announced protestors will not be allowed to hold signs at the rescheduled meeting.

Juliana Sweeny
Juliana Sweeny is a high school history and biblical studies teacher in Loudoun County, Virginia. She is also the executive producer for the Teacher’s Lounge podcast.

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