KCE is contacting Kenosha County school districts to find out just how many have books available to children with pornographic images. KUSD recently removed some pornographic books, only after a national story by Libs of TikTok. KUSD said in a statement:
“Recently, a concern was raised regarding a handful of books in our secondary libraries. Upon review by our staff, the following titles were removed from circulation due to their visually graphic nature considered inappropriate for public school libraries: Gender Queer, Let’s Talk About It and This Book is Gay. The following titles, however, will remain in circulation as the content was determined to be age-appropriate and did not contain graphic images: Flamer and Me and Earl and the Dying Girl. Lastly, All Boys aren’t Blue was removed from middle school libraries, but was deemed age-appropriate for the high school level.
This review was completed via KUSD’s selection/deselection process and did not require escalation to Policy 6620 – Library Resources. As stated in Policy 6620, “Incidents of sexual reference, profanity, or different points of view shall not automatically disqualify materials from library collections. Nor shall materials be deemed inappropriate for an age group based on the identities of the characters or authors.
The reason for making these changes is to keep our students safe while also ensuring they feel welcome and represented in their school environment. “
On September 11, 2023, we asked Michelle Garven (D), the Superintendent Trevor-Wilmot Grade School District if she planned to remove books that were identified to contain pornography-like photos.
Garven didn’t know the answer to our question so she pawned us off on a woman named Tracy Donich who is purported to be the district’s assistant superintendent of Teaching and Learning. You read that right, for a one-school, rural district, there are multiple assistant superintendents, AND a principal.
The next day, on September 12, 2023, Donich responded saying:
“After investigating with the assistance of our library media specialist, we confirmed that these books are not available in our school for students to check out. We do not have any local copies of the books you listed. Our school does collaborate with the community library catalog system, so families can search for titles through the catalog system that extends to other libraries, but we do not house those titles here.”
We spoke to a mom in the district who told us that Donich was being misleading. In fact, this mother sent KCE screen shots that her third-grader was able to download right from the school-issued chromebook.
According to Libs of TikTok, ” ‘This Book Is Gay’ teaches students how to have gay sex and how to use a gay sex hookup app to meet up with others. It also includes a guide to sex kinks and fetishes such as peeing on each other and eating poop. It’s available as an Ebook, students just need to login and can check it out digitally.”
Here is a sample from the book available to all students at Trevor-Wilmot Grade School:
According to “Libs of TikTok,” ” ‘Let’s Talk About It’ Is a guide to watching porn online and using sex toys with extremely graphic depictions of sex.” It teaches young students how to insert a butt plug or finger deep into their anus.
Garven sent out an email in response to KCE’s questioning.
KCE learned that the catalog can be custom tailored to each individual school district and Garven made the decision to keep theses books available to T/W students. KCE then reached out to Garven and Donich again, asking why they lied to us. No answer. We then decided to publish a story about the district’s unwillingness to remove these titles. Under the public records statute, KCE asked for ANY photos in the possession of the school district of Garven and Donich for our publication. She said they contacted their lawyer and my our request was not reasonably specific to the subject matter and length of time involved. She then threatened to charged us $50 for the photos and suggested it would take a long time to get them to us. We threatened to sue, especially if the charge us $50, which is unlawful. Garven appears to have “Mathewson Ghost Social Media Syndrome”, which is a condition, in which someone believes that every profile on Facebook that doesn’t agree with them is a fake profile of mine. Today we received the below “Cease and Desist Letter” which has no legal authority. Although I have never been to Trevor-Wilmot grade school, I planned to attend the next board meeting to report on their decision. The letter suggests that I am banned from the property and cannot attend a public meeting. If I am seen on property, she said she will call the Sheriff’s Department:
KCE has reached out to the District Attorney and Sheriff’s Department as to the legality and or possible criminal actions of Garven.