A Florida school board was forced to cut off a dad’s microphone after he read ‘pornography’ in an attempt to show people an example of books that can be found in schools.
Bruce Friedman tried to read an excerpt from Alice Sebold’s 1999 memoir ‘Lucky,’ which documents her rape as a college freshman and how it affected her.
Friedman is the president of the Florida chapter of No Left Turn in Education, a group dedicated to the mission of ‘reviving in American public education the fundamental discipline of critical and active thinking which is based on facts, investigation, logic, and sound reasoning.’
Friedman highlighted three books that he found inappropriate, including ‘Lucky.’ The other two were ‘A Court of Silver Flames’ by Sarah J. Maas and ‘Triangles’ by Ellen Hopkins.
All three books contain graphic details of sexual encounters that vary in nature, but all of which were found objectionable by Friedman.
Before reading, Friedman told the Clay County School District board he wanted them to discuss ‘the process by which these books get on the shelves.’
He also warned viewers ‘if there’s children watching, cover your ears,’ as the meeting was being broadcast on YouTube.
Friedman’s microphone was cut off as he launched into a portion of the book, presumably one of the more graphic sequences in which Sebold describes what happened to her.
Bruce Friedman, president of the Florida chapter of No Left Turn in Education, confronted school board members about the content of books that are available in his son’s school system
He also railed against Drag Queen Story Hours, like this one in New York, and said parents need to ask ‘why the drag queens want an audience of children’
After having his mic cut off, Friedman places a triboard poster he made directly in front of one of the school board members
After questioning why he was cut off, a member of the board explains ‘the problem is, sir, that these meetings are broadcast, there are people at home that are watching it on YouTube. There are people that are watching it on community television.’
The board member continued: ‘There are federal and state laws that prohibit you from saying the things that you’re getting out to say on television. There are state laws that prohibit in federal communications laws that prohibit you from publishing these things to a child. You don’t have the ability at this point to determine who’s watching the television show. And for you to say, “everybody cover your ears” just doesn’t cut it.’
Friedman, who had brought in a triboard poster that he had glued excerpts of the book to, then went and placed the poster directly in front of a board member, who told Friedman he got ‘where he is coming from.’
Last year, Clay County removed ‘All Boys Aren’t Blue’ by George M. Johnson, which chronicles Johnson’s experiences growing up as a gay black man in New Jersey and Virginia.
Sebold’s accused rapist was exonerated after serving 16 years in prison due to inconsistencies in the author’s case
‘Lucky’ is a memoir by Alice Sebold, documenting her rape as a freshman at Syracuse University in 1981 and the subsequent effects it had on her
Anthony Bridgewater was convicted of the crime after being identified by Sebold as the perpetrator
Bridgewater was sentenced to eight to 25 years in prison, but maintained his innocence and never admitted to the crime, making him ineligible for parole
Bridgewater was released in 1999 after serving 16 years in prison
In 2019, ‘Lucky’ was in the process of coming to the big screen, but a producer found inconsistencies in the case against Bridgewater
Bridgewater was exonerated by a New York Supreme Court justice and the production of ‘Lucky’ as a film was halted
Sebold apologized to Bridgewater, saying ‘I am sorry most of all for the fact that the life you could have led was unjustly robbed from you, and I know that no apology can change what happened to you and never will’
The author tied her mistake to larger issues in the criminal justice system
’40 years ago, as a traumatized 18-year-old rape victim, I chose to put my faith in the American legal system. My goal in 1982 was justice — not to perpetuate injustice. And not to forever, and irreparably, alter a young man’s life by the very crime that had altered mine’
Some students believe the book offers a unique coming-of-age story that underrepresented groups can identify with, but it was removed from the libraries after a complaint by a parent.
Daily Mail reached out for a complete list of books No Left Turn wants to see removed from the libraries, but has received no comment yet.
In an interview with Fox News, Friedman said he is so outspoken because ‘people don’t work to protect their children until they’re harmed.’
Friedman says he has ‘skin in the game’ as his 15-year-old son was previously enrolled in a New York public school that did ‘considerable harm’ to him.
‘I never shook it off. I never stopped fighting. We got him into a private school promptly after first grade, but the damage was done. It took five years, in my opinion, to put him back on the right track,’ said Friedman.
He also said he refuses to put his son into a school that has ‘groomers and pedophiles and twisted sick people.’
Friedman called books like Sebold’s memoir ‘poison,’ and said there’s ‘no literary value to any of this.’
‘Lucky’ has sold over a million copies, and Sebold has also written another well-known book called ‘The Lovely Bones,’ which was adapted into a film starring Saoirse Ronan and directed by Peter Jackson in 2009.
Father says critical race theory is also ‘poison’ that is ‘bad for children of every color’
The fight over critical race theory in schools has escalated in the United States in recent years.
The theory has sparked a fierce nationwide debate in the wake of the Black Lives Matter protests around the country over the last year and the introduction of the 1619 Project.
The 1619 Project, which was published by the New York Times in 2019 to mark 400 years since the first enslaved Africans arrived on American shores, reframes American history by ‘placing the consequences of slavery and the contributions of black Americans at the center of the US narrative’.
The debate surrounding critical race theory regards concerns that some children are being indoctrinated into thinking that white people are inherently racist or sexist.
Those against critical race theory have argued it reduces people to the categories of ‘privileged’ or ‘oppressed’ based on their skin color.
Supporters, however, say the theory is vital to eliminating racism because it examines the ways in which race influence American politics, culture and the law.
Banning books in schools has seen a dramatic rise in the last year, especially books centered around difficult subjects like racism and sexuality.
Over 700 book challenges targeting 1,597 titles were proposed in 2021, according to the American Library Association — more than double the previous year’s figures and the highest since 2000.
The top three most challenged titles of 2021 were ‘Gender Queer’ by Maia Kobabe, ‘Lawn Boy’ by Jonathan Evison and ‘All Boys Aren’t Blue by George M. Johnson.
On the topic of drag queen story hours, Friedman said people ‘shouldn’t be asking whether or not it’s okay for our children to sit in on a drag queen story hour, we should be asking why the drag queens want an audience of children.’
He also chimed in on the debates surrounding critical race theory, highlighting it as another threat to children receiving education in the US.
‘It is so much worse than anyone could possibly believe that it’s mind-boggling. To be prepared for that battle, I took courses as if I was going to be required to teach critical race theory. I know it that well. I know exactly how bad it is, and it is bad for children of every color,’ said Friedman.
‘No good comes of this poison. Thank God Ron DeSantis is helping us get it out,’ he added.
Friedman says that critical race theory can be hidden by alternative names such as inclusion, diversity and equity and believes its part of an attempt at ‘Marxist’ indoctrination.
‘They won’t be happy until we’re all equal. Socialism is shared misery. But we’re going to do better. We have a constitution.’