12 Mar

Board Members and Superintendent Melbye,  

I am Kristine Seitz. 

I would like it to be known that I am a true stakeholder-I have lived in Bloomington for 15 years, my husband for 41, my children attended these schools and so did my husband. He was once very proud to acknowledge this, but that is no longer the case.   

Watching what took place at the last meeting regarding policy 606.5 was very disappointing.  

I find much irony in the fact that, pointing out explicit, vulgar books were coming in to schools via a faulty system was gaslight to the idea that we were trying to take away a student's first amendment right. When in fact, it is the board that is going to be taking away the democratic rights of parents and the community to help shape public education. There is no state statute or law that states you should limit anyone from participation-it is YOU, the board, choosing to shut out the community's voice altogether, and to limit parents to one challenge per school year...in essence, parents can opt their child out of an assignment that includes a book on rape or pedophilia in one class, but not in another.   

We are told to trust the professionals. We did, and now know, what worked in the past no longer works. And we know because we have books like, "This book is Gay" on the shelves, that teaches kids to be promiscuous... they learn about sex apps, like Grindr, to find suitable partners, but thank goodness the author encourages condom use, because they will read about Boy on Boy Sex- handies, blowies, and bumming (info on how to keep your Bum hole clean for sexy time fun is included), and helpful information like "unlike the vagina, the anus does Not lubricate itself.” Moving on to Girl-on-Girl Sex: which includes fingers, oral, toys and strap-ons. To Trans Sex... This is highly inappropriate for the school setting, and God willing it does not go with any of your curriculum.   

So no, we do not trust the professionals. And certainly not to be the only “qualified” person to have the authority to make or oversee library book and material decisions. The district does not provide enough transparency for parents to know what is on the library shelves or being taught by teachers.  

Next, we are told to trust the process... How can we trust the process when you keep changing it to fit your needs. The first two books are still being reviewed.  At this rate many explicit books will remain on the shelves for the next few years. Timelines are needed for 606.5.   

It is the board's job to protect all students. Strict standards must be laid out in the criteria for librarians to follow. Something 606.5 does not do.  In reality, it makes it easier for more of these books to come in. 

So, I am calling on the board, for the good of all students, to rethink their decision on approving 606.5.  

I also want to thank Board Member Beebe- Thank you for listening to your constituents and hearing our concerns; your due diligence, critical thinking, and push back on passing 606.5 is much appreciated.

* The email will not be published on the website.