Plan of Action - Quick Look
Take our book presentations that are of a high level of pornographic content and place 10 or less on one list.
Give to school board along with an email that these are one page snippets and you will be happy to send a full report on each book if requested.
Start releasing one a day to your facebook feed or websites.
Wait a week or two so it is reasonable to expect that they have looked over material. Follow up with an email offering again to send full reports along with any assistance you can offer, and ask what progress has been made.
Go to next board meeting and ask publicly about progress, or point out if they never even asked for full reports. If you have brave volunteers, attempt to read some passages from these books and ask if the board thinks this is OK for minors. Let them stand behind this material and own it if they are not working to get rid of it.
Recruit readers, help us grow the reports.
Vote them out next election if they refuse to work on this issue.
Plan of Action - Complete
Our group was originally formed as a Moms For Liberty Library Book Committee. We were very concerned in what is going on in our school libraries and decided to challenge books that were inappropriate. First, we are going after porn in the school libraries, but the book report is designed to document any controversial/inappropriate material for future use or as a parental resource.
In order to challenge the books, we have decided to make our case airtight by taking opinion out of the conversation and attack the problem of inappropriate books by using book citations and presenting it to the school board. Since there are existing laws about pornography and minors, we ask the school board to look through the lens of the law to determine if these books should be accessible to minors in school. When a book is challenged, you can assume that there will be someone responsible to read the material to decide if the book is indeed inappropriate. If that person or committee is like most people, you will try and get the job done the quickest way possible which might mean doing a search of book reviews to determine how bad a book is. This is the method which was used to decide to include the books in the library in the first place in our county. By clearly providing the citations that can be easily fact checked, we take all the leg work out of investigating a challenged book. You can't "not see" the scope of what is inappropriate in the book if all that we present is the facts of the citation.
We send the lists in groups and not individually as we are receiving. We get a group together, then submit them, in a snippet form, called presentations. It's a one page quick look with a photo of the book our rating, and a few citations. You can see our presentations in the Public Book Reports tab in the last column. We only do a presentation for the worst offenders we are submitting to the board. We send an email saying this is not the full report on each book and that we will be happy to send each books full report if requested.
After the list goes to the school board, we start releasing the full book reports on our Facebook groups. The reports are released one at a time each day or two, and we include what schools each book can be found in and if it is an ebook or audio book available for all high schools or other grades. This does several things, first, it gathers attention to your groups Facebook and gets people engaged with outrage. Some of the parents will take it a step further themselves and go talk to their principal or school librarian. This puts pressure on schools to at least consider a book that is challenged before the school board can even ask the individual schools to look at the books. It is a possibility that the book will be pulled, even temporarily, by the librarian speeding up the goal of permanent removal. The report also gets shared in the community, and even if you don't like our group, it gives us the opportunity to unite on common ground if the individual can clearly see why we are fighting against this. It's very easy to "say" we are crazy book fanatics and can't handle it if a book has the word fuck in it....it's another thing to see the complete description of rape and defend why this should be in our school.
Why do we not send each book to the school board as soon as we get it?
If we were to send a book whenever we find one that needs attention, it would get lost in the shuffle and slow down progress. Giving a list makes this seem more urgent and easier to refer to. I can ask if the first list has been sent to the school libraries for review instead of asking about each individual title to make sure they all were included. Emails about books can get lost in a mountain of their emails, so this makes it more efficient. Submitting our presentations, spreading those lists out over several weeks so it's clear the pressure is not going to stop, encourages them to find a smooth workable solution to get this off their plates.
Why do we send only a presentation and not the full detailed book report to the school board to start with?
If a complete detailed book report was sent for each book, it would be a pile of info and be overwhelming. If each book is on a one page snapshot, it makes it easy to see and digest the idea of how bad each book is. Once you have their attention, they should want to know everything they can about the book so they can justify its removal. You can see if they are even being serious about looking into the books because if they don't request the full reports, then they probably are not really even investigating the books. After submitting and reminding our board by email that we had full reports available on two other separate emails, we stood before the board and publicly shared that they didn't even bother to ask for full reports. Immediately they asked for the reports and progress seemed to start, instead of passing the buck, which was what was happening.