Former School Board candidate Cindy Rose calls them ‘erotica.’
Frederick, Md (KM) Frederick County Public Schools is forming a committee to review 35 books which former School Board candidate Cindy Rose has asked be removed from public school library shelves. She calls the books “erotica.” “So it’s just books written to sexually arouse young people, and I don’t think there’s a place for that in Frederick County Public Schools,” she says.
One of the 35 books includes “Slaughterhouse Five” by Kurt Vonnegut, which depicts the firebombing of Dresden, Germany during the Second World War from the perspective of an American POW. Rose says her daughter has read it. “It’s sit on our bookshelf in the living room. She and I were talking about this particular issue, and that book came up. She said it’s ‘a hard read; it’s not for everybody.’ It definitely one of those books that a parent knows about and opts in for their child to read it,”: Rose says.
But Rose says she has had a change of heart about “Slaughterhouse Five.” “I see educational value in that particular book. So I’m not for removing it. Maybe having to make sure that parents consent to their child reading it. But I wouldn’t remove it from the FCPS shelves at this time,” she says.
Rose was also asked if she had read any of the 35 books she wants removed. “35 books is a lot of books to have to read through. No, I have not read them. I have read the excerpts. I have seen the pages that are concerning to people,” she says “I have not read them from cover-to-cover. I have read bits and pieces of them here and there.”
But Rise says she does not feel it’s necessary to read these books in their entirety. “Let’s not let children read erotica, pedophilia, incest, children being raped by their parents,” she said. “I don’t have to read the book to know it should not be around children for their availability to read.”
And she further emphasizes her motivations. “I’m not making an unreasonable claim just to pull books because I’m pearl clutching prude. I’m not. I’ve got five children of my own. I’m not a prude. It’s because they’re just inappropriate,” she says.
These books are available in the public libraries, says Rose, and this gives parents a chance to decide if their children should read these books or not.
The review committee is expected to begin its work in January, says FCPS, and that should continue into April. Each member is required to read at least two of the 35 books on the list. The panel is expected to take testimony from complainants about the books, and possibly other citizens who want to comment.
FCPS says the committee will prepare a final report with recommendations which will be sent up the School System chain of command to Superintendent Dr. Cheryl Dyson, who will make a final decision.
By Kevin McManus