MELBOURNE, Fla. — Brevard County groups rallied outside of Melbourne High School on Saturday to stop a ban on books. They had more than a hundred books with them that are either banned or being challenged across the country. Adam Tritt is a teacher at Bayside High School in Palm Bay. He teaches honor and AP classes and said one of the books he used is currently being challenged because of sexual content and language, it’s titled Slaughterhouse-Five.
What You Need To Know
- Brevard County groups rallied outside of Melbourne High School on Saturday to stop a ban on books
- Spectrum News spoke with a teacher who says leaders are not protecting students by taking away books
- Moms for Libert Brevard responded to the matter in a statement saying in part: "Those that oppose the challenging of these books should be presenting arguments to the school district for why they feel that sexually explicit materials available to children as young as 11"
He believes that educators have their hands tied.
“The laws are so unclear that we do not know what we can say and what we cannot,” added Tritt. “We do not know what we can use and what we can’t, which is why people have sent entire classroom libraries to us an entire classroom set of books because they are unclear what they can do.”
The high school teacher added he’s allowed to teach the challenged material like Slaughterhouse-Five in his AP classes because the College Board stepped in on this matter.
"The (College Board) AP actually had to step in and say if you are going to take away books from the AP students, we are going to take AP away from Brevard County Schools, you will lose your accreditation. So now I can go back to using it with my AP students,” said Tritt.
However, he thinks leaders are not protecting students by taking away these books.
“They do not know how to protect students. You do not protect students by taking away their visibility by taking away their voice. There is nothing in Slaughterhouse-Five that cannot be read to with an 11th grader that is going to hurt them,” explained Tritt. “If anything, they get to discover what it is actually like to be in a war. They understand what goes on in a war, there is nothing that is going to hurt anyone.”
The executive board for Mom for Liberty-Brevard sent Spectrum News the following statement about Saturday's rally:
"Moms for Liberty Brevard does not and has not ever 'banned books' from Brevard public school libraries. The public is free to try and stop what they feel is the “banning” of books in our public schools, however they are going about it the wrong way. The ability to challenge books in public schools for their age appropriateness is nothing new. Those that oppose the challenging of these books should be presenting arguments to the school district for why they feel that sexually explicit materials available to children as young as 11 years old is appropriate in a public school setting. However, that would require that they take a vastly unpopular position in saying that children should be able to have access to pornographic images and descriptive material that we’ve found in school libraries. This includes pictures of oral sex and descriptions of how to download sex apps that tell kids “where the nearest homosexuals are” to hook up with for “quick, easy and uncomplicated sex”.
Instead those opposing us are creating a false narrative that these books are being “banned”, and attempting to deceive the community by holding events like these. We support their right to do so, but if they truly wanted to stop book challenges for age appropriateness, they would be able to form a valid argument justifying keeping the material we’ve found in the hands of minors. But they cannot do that, so they hold rallies that pedal misinformation about the books we’ve challenged."