23 Sep

I’m Kristine Seitz, thank you for letting me speak. 

First, I would like to make it clear that the people who spoke out against explicit materials last month are concerned citizens of Bloomington. I do not appreciate the lies that the Mama Bears of Bloomington (now known is the Bloomington Mamas Facebook group) are spreading about the people who are speaking out. Further, I do not appreciate hearing that one of the supposedly non-partisan board members is discussing with a group of moms how we are trying to “ban books”. There is a difference between banning, a legal process, and asking for harmful materials to be removed from the school setting due to their explicitness that is age inappropriate.

Second, I would like to point out explicit, vulgar materials are not protected by the first amendment, and no one is suggesting that we take away a student's first amendment right. Rather, we are here to hold school staff and all those interacting in the school environment to an expected professional standard. Librarians and teachers should not be able to distribute this material under the guise of being curriculum related. Schools are the ONE place parents should not have to worry about sending their children to. So, as much as the mama bears (Bloomington Mamas) want the power to choose what books their children read, so do people who oppose this material. 

Many of these books are coercive, and physically rewire a young person’s brain. Oftentimes it is done in such a way the victim thinks that they’re making their own personal choice - and this can be the first step to exploitation. Oftentimes, exploitation and grooming occur within peer groups, clubs, sports, educational institutions, and is insidious in nature. I do not expect, nor do I want the schools to decide if any child is ready for explicit material that involves poor power and control dynamics, rape, incest, sadomasochistic themes, that literally changes the developing brain chemistry, increases shame, depression, anxiety, suicidal thoughts and offers a very limited scope of healthy pro-social relationships, no matter one’s preferred gender and sexual identity.

We are asking for policy and a vetting process on all incoming materials.

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