Public School Library Book Choice: What Are Parents' Choices? - TribPapers

Public School Library Book Choice: What Are Parents’ Choices?

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Asheville – In a recently published letter, local Rev. Ronald Gates sheds light on a growing concern surrounding explicit and potentially inappropriate material in our schools. Reverend Gates articulately outlines the alarming issues of desensitization and grooming of children through sexual content, accompanied by accusations of complicity in sexually predatory behavior. Highlighting examples from elementary, middle and high school libraries, Gates exposes the promotion of obscene, and homosexual activities, as well as the disturbing inclusion of drug use and suicide. Gates feels these books can confuse a child’s understanding of what is widely known as “normal behavior.” These revelations serve as a call to action for both community leaders and parents alike, urging them to address this pressing issue and safeguard the well-being of our children.

Ensuring that his message reached the right individuals, Rev. Ronald Gates directed his letter to influential figures within the community. Notably, the letter was sent to City of Asheville representatives including the City Manager, Debra Campbell, the City Mayor, Esther Manheimer, and the Vice Mayor, Sandra Kilgore, who consented and met with Gates on 8/18/23. Additionally, the letter was received by Asheville City School Superintendent Dr. Maggie Fehrman, who, while not personally meeting with Gates, responded by sending policies in return. In Buncombe County, the letter was forwarded to County Manager Avril Pinder, Commissioner Chairman Browne Newman, Commissioner Al Whitesides, and Commissioner Parker Sloan. Moreover, Buncombe County School Superintendent Dr. Robert Jackson consented to a meeting with Gates on 8/18/23, further emphasizing the significance of these concerns. The letter also reached Buncombe County School Madam Chair Ann Franklin, School Board Member Amy Churchill, and School Board Member Margaret Buchanan, ensuring a comprehensive distribution of the letter’s critical contents.

The Tribune Papers conducted a short follow up interview with the Reverend to gain further insights on his intentions.

Why is this topic so important to you that you took the time to write a letter to our local elected officials?

The scripture says Matthew 18:6 ESV – “But whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a great millstone fastened around his neck and to be drowned in the depth of the sea.” I have been working with the Pavement Education Project and NC Values Coalition on the important issue of protecting our children from harmful content. It was important to compose this letter to inform the Campaign Southern Equality, officials in both City and County and teachers that harmful, inappropriate, sexually graphic content with no educational value is being presented in our schools.

Whom have you heard back from and what is their response?

Answer: After we dropped off a package with the letter, along with pictures of the books that are in the elementary schools, middle, and high schools, we heard from Dr. Robert Jackson (Buncombe County Schools), Dr. Maggie Fehrman (Asheville City Schools), and Vice Mayor Sandra Kilgore (City Council). We also submitted a list of the books and their locations and provided the website which also lists the books with locations, pictures, and storylines. Another resource we used was to search school libraries. Our meeting with Dr. Robert Jackson and his assistant was on Friday, August 18th, they shared with us a procedure sheet to request the removal of books, a step by step process a long and drawned. Buncombe County Schools.

What are your plans for moving forward from here?

Answer: We will continue to educate the public, citizens, and parents about this hidden agenda of indoctrination through media interviews, activism, and partnerships with other organizations that care about our children having a quality, unbiased education instead of a curriculum full of racially divisive, gender confusing and pornographic content. The school board’s lengthy policies and procedures will not stop us from ensuring these extreme, harmful materials are removed from schools.

Editor’s Note: Reverend Ronald Gates is a ‘superintendent’ over the churches within his denomination; this is no relationship to any school superintendent. He holds a Doctoral Degree in Christian Ministry. Rev. Gates hopes to inform the community about these issues, and invites those persons who are interested in learning more, to contact him directly at 828-279-8779 office, 828-279-3312 mobile.