First Lady Jill Biden dismisses parent concern over inappropriate books in school libraries

Note to reader: Explicit content

Parental concern over what books are made available to their children in school libraries came up recently during an NBC Today Show interview with First Lady Jill Biden. Host Sheinelle Jones asked the First Lady about how much say parents should have when it comes to what their kids are learning and reading, alluding to the ongoing controversy of public school libraries stocking books that parents consider obscene, pornographic, sexually explicit, and inappropriate.

“All books should be in the library,” responded First Lady Jill Biden. “All books. This is America. We don’t ban books.”

But America “has always restricted certain kinds of content, and the attendant freedom to engage with it, when it comes to children,” writes Nate Hochman in the National Review.

Why? Well, because we understand that some things — including some books — aren’t appropriate for children. [Jill Biden’s] husband himself called for banning targeted advertising to children in his State of the Union address. He wasn’t calling for banning targeted advertising to adults, because children and adults are different. Go figure.

Below are two examples of books that parents are concerned about being available in school libraries.

  • Lawn Boy by Jonathan Evison. (Not to be confused with Lawn Boy by Gary Paulsen.) In the passages below, a young adult reflects on sexual encounters he had with another boy when the two were in the fourth grade. Available at Patrick Henry, Washburn, Roosevelt, and Southwest high schools in the Minneapolis school district and White Bear Lake High School in the White Bear Lake school district, to name a few.

    P. 19: “…[N]ot that it really matters: in fourth grade, at a church youth-group meeting, out in the bushes behind the parsonage, I touched Doug Goble’s d**k, and he touched mine. In fact, there were even some mouths involved.”
    P. 91: “What if I told you I touched another guy’s d**k? … What if I told you I sucked it? … I was ten years old, but it’s true. I put Doug Goble’s d**k in my mouth. … I was in fourth grade. It was no big deal. … He sucked mine too. … And you know what? … It wasn’t terrible.”
    P. 174: “He talked about old times at the church but never mentioned our penises or the fact that he never said ten words to me after our little foray in the bushes. …[N]ot a single reference to holding or tugging or sucking d**ks. … All I could think about while he was chatting me up over the rim of his cappuccino was his little salamander between my fourth-grade fingers, rapidly engorging with blood.”
    P. 230: “Why won’t you admit we sucked each other’s d**ks? … We shared a Hershey’s bar. Then you showed me your d**k. … The next thing I know, it’s in my mouth. … We sucked each other’s d**ks, and you’re pretending it didn’t happen.”