Cottonwood school board member seemingly desperate to censor LGBTQ+ literature
In a move seemingly aligned with the agenda of an anti-LGBTQ+ religious extremist group rising in the area, Mingus Union High School District Board Member Misty Cox is attempting to remove books from school libraries for no given reason other than that they pertain to queer topics.
The books talk frankly about LGBTQ+ identity and explore topics such as coming out, body positivity, and how to act with kindness within queer communities. They were recommended by the Yavapai County Library Network.
The principal and superintendent received a request from Cox to ban the books, with Cox citing nebulous "concerns" about the titles but no specific content. The principal and superintendent read the books and found them to be of excellent educational value.
Upon finding that the district lacked a formal process to challenge books, administrators have suggested one, requiring that people who want to ban books actually read them.
Under the policy, someone seeking to ban a book would have to explain—citing page numbers—what was offensive about the material. The principal and superintendent would then evaluate the request. If a book is found to be illicit with no educational value, they can remove it. If it has adult themes but excellent educational content, it can require parental consent to check out.
This is a common-sense proposal that would reduce frivolous and discriminatory ban requests. But it needs tremendous public support to overcome divisions on the board over LGBTQ+ issues.
Concerned constituents can reach out to board members in support of the superintendent’s review policy and speak at the next board meeting 1/11/24 6PM in the Mingus High School Library (1801 E Fir St, Cottonwood 86326).
Casa Grande school board hears prayers, cries for attention from church group
Casa Grande Unified High School District recently rejected demands from members of a local church to insert an official prayer before governing board meetings. The same church members returned last meeting to harp on the issue during public comments, insisting that their voices should come before all others in the district.
CGUHSD Board President Chuck Wright said previously that the board understands the illegal nature of adding a prayer to a public meeting, and showed no interest in discussing the matter further. Constituents can thank Wright for his professionalism in the matter here.