In recent weeks, my media outlet has been tracking an ongoing battle between left-leaning woke propagandists at the South Carolina Association of School Librarians (SCASL) and the new, conservative leadership at the S.C. Department of Education (SCDE).
At stake? The minds of hundreds of thousands of Palmetto State school children … or what’s left of those minds once South Carolina’s worst-in-the-nation government-run school system gets a hold of them.
SCASL landed in hot water earlier this year when it decided to assail any attempt by parents to remove wildly inappropriate/ hyper-sexual/ gender confusing materials from school libraries as some sort of discriminatory book-banning campaign. After being first rebuked at the local level by Midlands school board leader Rebecca Blackburn Hines, state superintendent of education Ellen Weaver got involved in the pushback against this group – part of the über-liberal American Library Association (ALA).
“Parents are entirely justified in seeking to ensure educational materials presented to their children are age-appropriate and aligned with the overall purpose of South Carolina’s instructional program and standards,” Weaver wrote. “When SCASL labels those efforts as bans, censorship, or a violation of educators’ intellectual freedom, the result is a more hostile environment which does not serve the needs of students.”
Weaver severed her agency’s ties with the group – and earlier this month SCASL’s executive director Michelle Spires resigned from her post in the aftermath of the drama.
While this fight rages on at the institutional level, parents across the Palmetto State are rallying together in the hopes of establishing some permanent demarcation lines moving forward.
One such parent is Carly Carter, chairwoman of the Anderson County chapter of the Moms for Liberty organization. Carter, 37, originally from Greenville, S.C., has launched a statewide petition website entitled ‘Clean Up SC Schools’ which is endeavoring to get “vulgar and sexually explicit material removed from school libraries.”
“If you had told me three years ago that it would be controversial to say that minors shouldn’t have access to sexually explicit content at school, I would have never believed you,” Carter told me. “But here we are, in rural South Carolina, facing battle after battle to protect our children from X-rated content while at school. Every signature on this petition represents a child that we can protect from being exposed to vulgar, inappropriate material.”
Carter told me she launched the Anderson chapter of Moms for Liberty last December “to protect children by advocating for parental rights.”
(Click to view)
“We aim to improve transparency between parents and educators so that parents can continue to be the authority and decision makers for their children,” she told me. “What is a more uniting cause than standing up for our children and their future?”
Carter’s petition page referenced “proposed legislation” which is being drafted “to combat this material from entering our schools.” The author of that legislation, state representative April Cromer, told me she intends to pre-file her bill when lawmakers gather for an organizational session in December of this year.
The Palmetto State’s “Republican” General Assembly – which consists of tepid GOP “supermajorities” in both the House and Senate – is midway through a two-year session that commenced in January.
“Schools in South Carolina are struggling to succeed in the basics, yet we have teachers unions and outside groups fighting to allow pornography in our libraries,” Cromer told me. “I’m proud to stand with Moms for Liberty. When the system was broken, they stepped up to make parents’ voices heard.”
“We have to re-establish trust between parents and our school system, and that begins with removing these lewd books and images from our libraries,” Cromer added.
(Click to view)
Cromer’s proposed legislation is modeled after a bill signed into law in Florida by governor Ron DeSantis. That law has been falsely characterized by the left as a “book ban.” According to Cromer, the goal of the envisioned law is to “protect our children from being sexualized at the taxpayer expense.”
“The purpose is to define age appropriate material, prevent these vulgar books from entering our schools, and hold those accountable who break the law,” she said. “No one is banning these books. These books are still available for purchase, just not at the expense of the taxpayer.”
Cromer – a member of the S.C. Freedom Caucus – is a first-term lawmaker from Anderson, S.C. who defeated a powerful legislative leader in the 2022 GOP primary election. In addition to leading the charge on several hot-button conservative issues at the S.C. State House , she is consistently among the most vocal members of the S.C. General Assembly when it comes to calling out her left-of-center, establishment colleagues.
When it comes to protecting children, Cromer says state lawmakers are failing to take action – listening to State House powerbrokers instead of parents.
“Once again South Carolina is not leading from the front,” she said. “Why not? Great question! Is your representative representing you? Or the lobby?”
To sign the ‘Clean Up SC Schools’ petition, click on the link below …
THE PETITION …
ABOUT THE AUTHOR …
Will Folks is the founding editor of the news outlet you are currently reading. Prior to founding FITSNews, he served as press secretary to the governor of South Carolina. He lives in the Midlands region of the state with his wife and seven (soon to be eight) children.
WANNA SOUND OFF?
Got something you’d like to say in response to one of our articles? Or an issue you’d like to proactively address? We have an open microphone policy here at FITSNews! Submit your letter to the editor (or guest column) via email HERE. Got a tip for a story? CLICK HERE. Got a technical question or a glitch to report? CLICK HERE.