According to a school board candidate in Maryland, libraries are a danger to children now. 

To “create a safe place for children,” Heather Flecher, a Frederick County Board of Education candidate, checked out at least 20 LGBT books at the Brunswick Public Library so no one could read them, according to Frederick News-Post. She also took a cup of pins with pronouns and printed them over them.

Fletcher did this because she was “disturbed” by the display that she said would prompt “age-inappropriate” questions from children.

"This has nothing to do with the gay community," Fletcher told the News-Post. "It has to do with the preservation of innocence."

Fletcher added that she didn’t want her three children to see the word “queer” on a book and removed the items after trying to convince the staff to move the books from view. She will no longer patronize any county libraries.

On June 3, she had to return the books, but not before sharing a photo with the titles of the books she checked out, including “We Are Everywhere: Protest, Power, and Pride in the History of Queer Liberation,” “When Your Child is Gay: What You Need to Know,” and more, the News-Post reported.

Samantha Jones, a Frederick County Public Libraries spokesperson, said that after Fletcher checked out the books, the employees reconfigured the display. She also said there is no limit to how many books a person can check out at once.

"We support the rights of all library customers and program participants to form their own opinions of books or collections," Jones said.

The display was created to “raise awareness of diverse experiences and perspectives,” Jones told the News-Post.

On June 1, Fletcher attended the FCPL's Board of Trustees meeting and spoke during the public comment portion, saying taxpayers’ money should not be used to buy pronoun pins, according to Jones.

"Those were not actually created with any public funds," Jones told the News-Post. "All of our libraries have 'Friends of the Library' groups that support them, and items like that always come from those. So, it is not taxpayer money going toward things like that."

Kris Fair, director of the LGBTQ advocacy nonprofit The Frederick Center, said he sat down with at least one conservative school board candidate after tense Frederick County Board of Education meetings that featured Fletcher, and others, angry over updated elementary health curriculum guidelines that include references to sexual orientation and gender identity.

The goal was to reach an understanding that everyone was opposed to “sexualizing children,” something the candidates had argued would happen with the curriculum guidelines.

However, Fair told the News-Post that he didn’t understand Fletcher’s argument that books about gay people endangered children.

"I truly struggle with that statement," Fair said. "I'll remain perplexed on it, I think, for the rest of my life."


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