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What Makes a Book Inappropriate for a Las Cruces School?

Sarah Smith is a co-leader for the New Mexico Freedoms Alliance, a non-partisan statewide grassroots coalition that advocates for freedom in all domains of life, including health, employment, education, and parenting.
Courtesy photo
Sarah Smith is a co-leader for the New Mexico Freedoms Alliance, a non-partisan statewide grassroots coalition that advocates for freedom in all domains of life, including health, employment, education, and parenting.

Commentary:

It’s time to set the record straight. Contrary to Peter Goodman’s assertion, I am the one who submitted the formal complaint to Las Cruces Public Schools (LCPS) about The Jack of Hearts and Other Parts, by L.C. Rosen. This book is in the Mayfield High School library.

Although I homeschool my own 13- and 16-year-old children, I know and care about many children who attend Mayfield High School and other schools in Las Cruces. I also co-lead the New Mexico Freedoms Alliance (NMFA), which is a non-partisan statewide grassroots coalition. As part of that work, I advocate for parents statewide and organize a group of over 225+ New Mexico teachers from all across the state. On local issues where we have mutual concern, I often collaborate with Juan Garcia from the Coalition of Conservatives in Action, and this book complaint is one such issue.

The book complaint I filed is not about book banning. And this is not about removing a book from the public library. This is about the presence of an age-inappropriate book in a publicly funded high school, where it can be accessed by children as young as 13 years old. There are numerous reasons that this book is not age appropriate for school children. Its presence in a Las Cruces school underscores the fact that the District is not adequately evaluating which books should be placed on the shelves.

Contrary to the assertion by Peter Goodman and others, I am not anti-gay or anti-trans. If this book had been about straight characters and straight sex, I would have the same objections to it. This book complaint has nothing to do with trying to force a Christian worldview into the schools. I am not a Christian myself and was not raised that way. My own personal faith does not fit into the box of any organized religion. I am politically moderate and registered to vote as a Democrat.

The people who are attributing these and other motives to the book complaint are uninformed and have not actually read the book.

They have not read the descriptive passage about bondage sex between an underage student and an adult. They have not read the numerous passages that encourage promiscuity, how to be a “big slut,” and children having threesomes, foursomes, and orgies. They have not read the passages about children using alcohol and drugs “just to relax with” as a way to make “things seem easier. They have not read the passages about children getting drunk and blacking out and then not remembering whether they had sex the night before. They have not read the numerous F words in the book. Keep in mind that a PG-13 movie only allows the usage of one F word, while this book has dozens and dozens. They have not read the passage about a school coach having sex with a student in the locker room, nor the descriptive oral sex tips, nor about the main character being “dominated, used [as] a sex toy.”

Don’t just trust me; judge for yourself. If you really want to understand why I filed the formal book complaint with LCPS, go look at pages from the book yourself here: www.nmfa.us/jack. Only after you have looked at the book can we have an honest discussion as to whether or not it should be in your child’s school.

Sarah Smith is a co-leader for the New Mexico Freedoms Alliance, a non-partisan statewide grassroots coalition that advocates for freedom in all domains of life, including health, employment, education, and parenting. Sarah Smith's opinions are her own and do not necessarily reflect the views of KRWG Public Media or NMSU.

Sarah Smith is a co-leader for the New Mexico Freedoms Alliance, a non-partisan statewide grassroots coalition that advocates for freedom in all domains of life, including health, employment, education, and parenting. She is also a homeschooling mother of two, natural healthcare practitioner, and former NASA aerospace engineer.