Accuracy in Media

Vice claims in a new piece that just one parent complaining can get all graphic novels removed from school libraries. This is not so.

The piece is headlined, “It Only Takes One Parent to Get All The Graphic Novels Removed From a School Library.”

“A school district in Oklahoma removed 3,000 titles after an angry parent complained about ‘pornography,’” the subhead says.

That’s not what happened. One parent complained about a specific graphic novel, and the others were pulled to be checked. As the story actually says, “a new policy which requires every page of every graphic novel in the library to be screened for ‘potential material involving sexually explicit content and extreme vulgarity.’”

This seems fair enough. Facebook has to pay fines if it allows teens to see porn, after all. Again, as the story says, “ This prompted the district to undergo a self-audit of graphic novels this fall to ensure their imagery comply with its policies.” To which the correct response is, well, don’t they check these things before they put them on the shelves? Or before they buy them?

But there’s a much larger issue here in their very next sentence: “The district said that Reiland isn’t the only parent who has voiced concerns over library policies and books in the library’s collection. “ That parents don’t have the power over what other adults read from the public library seems fair enough. As also it seems fair enough that parents have some decision-making power over what schools provide to their children.

Imagine this same scenario with a book that says that marriage is only between a man and a woman. Or that sex should only take place within such. Or that guns are great. That the U.S. is not institutionally racist. We know how that would work out – the censors would be fully in favor of pulling any of those. As has happened.

We have two issues here. One is the bad reporting, the failure of journalism. The graphic novels have not been removed, they’re being checked. It’s not one parent, it’s some number of them.

Then there’s that attitude behind that reporting. How dare these mere parents decide what their children might read? Don’t they realize that we, we woke and progressive, will do the deciding, and so polish young minds to show our reflections, not those of their parents?

Motherboard, a brand within Vice, published the piece. As a whole, the site is ranked No. 97 in the listing of news and media outlets. It gains some 27.2 million visits a month. The magazine has a distribution of 900,000 copies and the TV channel reaches 60 million homes on cable.

Parents get to raise their children, a good part of which is to be able to filter what they see and read. There is a reason that child internet filters exist. The outrage here is only, on the surface, that the same restrictions might apply to school libraries. What is really meant is that those filters shouldn’t apply to what the woke think kids should see and parents don’t. Rather the definition of being a parent is that parents win on this argument.




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