FREDERICK COUNTY, Md — A Frederick County Board of Education candidate checked out nearly 20 LBGTQ+ books that were on display at the Brunswick Public Library.
Heather Fletcher – a parent of three children ages 10, 8 and 6 – said the display had books with images and messages she didn’t feel were appropriate for young children.
“I don’t believe, morally, that it is right to have these in reach of my children,” Fletcher said.
Fletcher also said she took all of the “pronoun pins” that were near the display.
On Tuesday, Fletcher went to the library with her children.
To the right of the entrance was the children’s section where she sent her children.
In the middle was the information desk, and to the left was this bright-colored display section promoting LBGTQ+, Fletcher said.
“When I walked in on Tuesday, I noticed they had a LBGTQ display, I am assuming for Pride Month,” Fletcher said. “I went over to the stand and I took a video recording of the books that were on display. I noticed there were a couple pronoun pins and words on the books that disturbed me because I feel like they were too mature for my young children and other children in the community.”
Fletcher said she spoke to a librarian in charge, who did not agree with her stance on the issue.
“I was trying not to make a big scene,” Fletcher said. “I told her it looks like all of these books are adult books and some of them have adult material in them. Some of them have pictures that could be disturbing to a young audience, I believe, so I asked if they could put them back in the adult section, or where children can’t have easy access to.”
Fletcher told WMAR-2 News she left with her children, only to return the next day to check out all of these LBGTQ+ books on the display.
She said she wanted to check out the books to make sure they were appropriate for children.
“The next day, it occurred to me that I could check out the books and I could see what was in them and make sure they were safe for a young audience to look at,” Fletcher said.
Fletcher, who said she pulled her students out of public school to be homeschooled, found words and images she felt were not appropriate.
“There was the word queer in big letters,” Fletcher said. “There was a very colorful flier with the LBGTQ+ letters big and with rainbows, and in front of that was the pins. It was all just very flashy. I am well-versed in books to know that I am sure there was adult content in the books I had seen and took a video of.”
Fletcher said she plans to return the books.
But as for the pronoun pins, she said, “I have them in a bag and I don’t know what to do with these pins.”
Fletcher said her purpose was not to get rid of the LBGTQ+ display, because it is at a public library, but instead, just to have it in a section where it is not easily accessible to children.
“After talking with the director of the Frederick Public County Library, and seeing that he did not share my same concerns, I told him I would be returning the books and told him I would no longer be using the Frederick County Public Library system until I could be assured that it would be a safe place for children,” Frederick said.
Frederick County Public Library sent WMAR-2 News a statement:
Frederick County Public Libraries (FCPL) maintains a diverse collection of materials representing many viewpoints. Our mission is to facilitate the public’s freedom to explore, to invent, and to transform. We support families in choosing what material is best for them and leave that choice to parents. The display and the pins have been replenished.
The pronoun pins on display were purchased with funds from the Friends of the Brunswick Library, a 501(c)3 non-profit supporting this library branch. No taxpayer funds were used for the pins.
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