Dearborn School Board Meeting Ends After Large Crowd Packs into Lecture Hall

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Members of the Dearborn School Board cut their Monday meeting short after a crowd was upset with the way the district reviews the books packed in the lecture hall.

The crowd, some 100 strong, brought signs and chanted against school board members. Many have expressed concerns about the content of books dealing with sexuality.

Eventually, the group was forced to leave after the school board said the crowd had created a fire hazard. The cancellation of the meeting only further inflamed the crowd.

“I am the one who will deliver a message to everyone: we are not going to tolerate the school board coming out,” said a man as he left the building.

“We’re not against anyone, we’re not against homosexuality, we all have our beliefs – but that has nothing to do with it. We’re here just to talk about the books and the pornography in those books,” said another man.

The subject of books has become a controversial subject in schools in the United States. Where debates over district mask policies have heated up in 2021, this year his books on LGBTQ themes and racial identity have come under fire from some parents.

In one of the most controversial examples, a West Michigan library weighed the need to close after voters in Jameston Township rejected a mile funding the facility. Funding from other sources eventually helped the library stay open.

In Dearborn, criticism has been prompted by how the district reviews the books it allows into its library. According to a statement from the school system, the district now has new criteria for how libraries evaluate which books are correct — as well as how parents can respond to concerns about specific titles.

There is also an opt-out form that parents can use to restrict specific titles.

“We realize the community has many strong feelings on both sides of the issue of limiting student access to certain books,” Superintendent Glenn Maleyko said. “We work hard to ensure that our schools are welcoming and safe spaces for all students, and our libraries will continue to reflect this as well. However, we are also aware that the vast majority of students in our care are minors , who are still learning about life and the world, and they are not emotionally or intellectually ready to process certain content.”

The noisy meeting was initially put on hold until the school board could get in touch with the fire marshal. Shortly after, the chief of police suspended the meeting.

It has since been rescheduled for Fordson High School, which is a larger venue capable of housing more people. It’s scheduled for Thursday.

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