St. Johns County School Board Retains Book in Libraries

In a recent St. Johns County School Board meeting, the District Library Book Objection Committee convened to address an objection to the inclusion of the book “A Stolen Life” by JC Dugard in school libraries. After a detailed review and discussion, the committee recommended that the book be retained for grades nine and up. This decision follows a formal objection that cited graphic content and mature themes in the book as unsuitable for school-aged children.

During the meeting, an objecting party, identified as Ms. Moore, presented her concerns about the book, which details the kidnapping, sexual assault, and abuse of a young girl. Ms. Moore argued that the explicit descriptions of sexual violence, including rape and bestiality, were inappropriate for minors and should not be available in school media centers. She emphasized that parental choice should govern access to adult content, not the school district.

The committee utilized the School Library Media Material Evaluation Checklist and Florida statutes to guide their discussion and voting on the matter. The evaluation process considered whether the material was pornographic or prohibited under Florida statute 847.011, depicted or described sexual conduct as defined by the same statute, was unsuited to student needs and their ability to comprehend the material, and was inappropriate for the grade level and age group for which the material is used.

Votes were cast on these questions, with the majority determining that while the book does depict or describe sexual conduct as per Florida Statute 847.011(19), it was not pornographic or prohibited, unsuited to student needs, or inappropriate for the grade level and age group for which it is presently available, namely grades 9 through 12. The final vote resulted in a recommendation to retain the book for the designated grade levels.

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The committee’s decision will be forwarded to Superintendent Tim Forson for acknowledgment.

Note: This meeting summary was generated by AI, which can occasionally misspell names, misattribute actions, and state inaccuracies. This summary is intended to be a starting point and you should review the meeting record linked above before acting on anything you read. If we got something wrong, let us know. We’re working every day to improve our process in pursuit of universal local government transparency.

Superintendent:
Tim Forson
School Board Officials:
Beverly Slough, Anthony E. Coleman Sr., Jennifer Collins, Kelly Barrera, Patrick Canan, Sarah Wilcox (Executive Secretary/Bookkeeper), Frank D. Upchurch, III (School Board Attorney)

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