WILSON COUNTY, Tenn. (WKRN) — A public records request recently exposed who exactly is behind the book challenges in Wilson County.
According to a school board member, none of the challengers have students in the school district except for one. The lone parent also happens to be the chapter chair of Moms 4 Liberty in Wilson County.
“What is the educational value of this book? What is it that you wish children to know who have read this?” said Amanda Price, Wilson County parent.
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That is one of a dozen book challenge requests for review and reconsideration that Price has sent to Wilson County high schools.
“This is 30 pages,” Price said.
It is pages filled with what she considers sexually explicit excerpts that she said were found on high school library shelves. “When I found out about this, I immediately brought it to the school board.”
Price first brought up her concern during a school board meeting in November of 2021. It was the same year she became the chapter chair for Moms for Liberty in Wilson County.
“This has been exploited by Moms 4 Liberty,” Jessica Smith said during an October 11 school board meeting.
Smith filed a public records request to see who was behind the book challenges. “The only one that was submitted by a parent of a Wilson County student is the chair of the local Moms 4 Liberty chapter.”
Moms 4 Liberty is a national organization that the Southern Poverty Law Center has called an “extremist” group. The center cited that Moms 4 Liberty ‘opposes LGBTQ+ and racially inclusive school curriculum, and has advocated book bans.’
“I feel that is it intellectually dishonest, to consider an extremist group based on the fact that these are sexually explicit books,” Price said.
Last week, the school board discussed reviewing their policy on who can challenge books to make sure it aligns with state law. The board will review it in November.
“The problem is I think the reason why they want to reword this policy is to prevent this controversial issue to come up as frequent as it is,” Price said.
Price told News 2 that she has not read all of the books she has challenged but has read excerpts.
She said she has gone through all the proper channels to challenge a book based on the school district’s policy.
The policy requires the challenger to first bring up the concern with the high school before it can go to the book review committee.