Moms for Liberty – Indian River, FL announced on February 3rd, 2023, they had filed a complaint with the School District of Indian River County against School Board Vice Chairman Teri Barenborg.
The complaint alleges Barenborg violated School Policy PO-1129(C)) which says “no employee, officer, or agent shall make use of materials, equipment, or facilities of the District in private practice. Examples would be the use of facilities before, during, or after regular business hours for service to private practice clients, or the checking out of items from an instructional materials center for private practice.”
Barenborg specifically did so by keeping a copy of “The Handmaids Tale” that it supposedly had questionable sexual depictions in it.
Barenborg admitted at the January 23rd, 2023 School Board Meeting that she kept the copy of “The Handmaids Tale” to use in her reelection campaign for School Board in 2022.
Barenborg said she had the book as long as she did because she was bringing it to forums during her reelection campaign for School Board, showing people there were no pictures in that copy of “The Handmaids Tale.”
Specifically, School Policy PO-1129(C) says “no employee, officer, or agent shall make use of materials, equipment, or facilities of the District in private practice. Examples would be the use of facilities before, during, or after regular business hours for service to private practice clients, or the checking out of items from an instructional materials center for private practice.”
Barenborg made her admission when Rosario brought up an agenda item at the Board Meeting asking for proper verification of ISBNs of books in the School District.
International Standard Book Numbers (ISBNs) are serial numbers for books (and different versions of each book) that are published.
Barenborg said she checked the book out as she didn’t want kids to be able to see the reportedly graphic images that were in the book. She said when she checked the book out, she said did not find any graphic images in it.
Barenborg said she is concerned about ISBN numbers, mentioning there are different versions of books and that the correct ones are banned from the Schools in the District.
Barenborg said “when you hold up a book and say it’s got horrible graphic pictures, you better be right… and that didn’t happen.”
Barenborg’s comments were made during an information agenda item School Board Member Jackie Rosario brought forward about the book Barenborg checked out.
Notably, Rosario brought up the item without saying Barenborg’s name.
The discussion on the item at points got tense between Rosario, Barenborg and School Board Chairman Dr. Peggy Jones Ed.D.
School Board Member Dr. Gene Posca M.D. was silent during the discussion.
Moms for Liberty – Indian River, Florida Chairman Jennifer Pippin had filed a formal challenge in January 2022 with Indian River Schools against the specific copy of “The Handmaids Tale” due to the copy reportedly depicting “multiple artistic drawings of a woman having sex with an older man.”
Barenborg herself has disagreed over the specific copy of “The Handmaids Tale” being inappropriate to have in public schools.
The specific ISBN for the copy of “The Handmaids Tale” in question is 0-449-21260-2. The ISBN listed in Indian River School’s system, Follet, is 0-395-40425-8.
It is currently not known what the consequences will be if Barenborg is indeed found in violation of School Board Policy.
In recent years, books with graphic, sexually explicit content have been found in public schools across the United States, prompting outrage from parents across the United States.
Other groups of parents have shockingly been perfectly fine with their children reading these graphic obscene books.
The State of Florida, per Chapter 847 , prohibits adults from distributing such graphic, sexual reading materials to minor children.
Moms for Liberty was founded in early 2021, with the Indian River County Chapter as one of the original Moms for Liberty Chapters.
According to their website, Moms for Liberty’s mission “is dedicated to fighting for the survival of America by unifying, educating and empowering parents to defend their parental rights at all levels of government.”
Moms for Liberty – Indian River, Florida Chairman Jennifer Pippin told Indian River News, their recent press release was put out in response to an article Vero News’s Ray McNulty wrote titled “ Another sad chapter in culture wars hits schools.”
McNulty has been very critical of Moms for Liberty – Indian River, Florida and their advocacy efforts in Indian River County, Florida.
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