Hermon parents concerned over 80+ books they consider sexually explicit

Published: Jan. 3, 2023 at 6:56 PM EST
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HERMON, Maine (WABI) - A group of parents in Hermon will be asking the school committee at their meeting on Monday about more than 80 books they say contain sexually explicit material and can be found at libraries in the school system

“After some research, we found some materials that we were concerned about,” concerned parent Regina Leonard said. “And we wanted to get some answers to understand like how they got here, who put them there.”

The group “Concerned Hermon School District Community Members” want a rating system for age-appropriate content in the district

“And we were asking them to start reviewing the process to look at it so that we all could be more informed specifically of what was going on. And so it just started this over a year long battle, because we just keep getting pushed back and aren’t getting answers or solutions created. So that’s how this all became a thing and the group grows bigger every day.”

Regina Leonard is a parent and member of the group.

She says after some research, they found concerning materials and are looking for answers from the school committee as to how these materials could even be available to students.

“I don’t think it’s really censorship and it’s not at all about banning a book. It’s just that parents having the control over what’s available to our children outside of our homes, and that we don’t feel that this type of sexual material is what should be taught or provided to our children in school walls. "

We reached out to the superintendent who said, “Our policy allows for citizens to challenge instructional materials. When this form is completed and material for example books, textbooks, etc. has been challenged, it goes through the steps below per policy.”

It goes through what will happen after they challenge the material at the school committee meeting on Monday.

“The opt out system only protects the child from checking the book out. It does not protect the child for taking it off the shelf and reading within the library. So for me, that doesn’t really work either. What we’re asking for is a rating system for all the books per school, elementary, middle and high school because those ratings should be different as the kids are older. And if the books do not fall within the rating system, then they’re not there. And if a parent chooses to provide that to their child, that’s their right and their choice to do so but not within schools. "