Commissioners proposal asks state lawmakers to pass legislation that could indirectly ban books deemed offensive, inappropriate

Published: Jan. 16, 2023 at 7:10 PM EST
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ELKHART, Ind. (WNDU) - An Elkhart County Commissioners’ resolution is calling on state lawmakers to pass legislation that would indirectly ban school and public library books that are deemed “offensive” and “inappropriate.”

Specifically named in the proposal is a book titled It’s Perfectly Normal. The book geared for children 10 years and older contains cartoons that illustrate changing bodies, growing up, sex, and sexual health.

The drafted resolution cites that a prosecutor and former state senator has acknowledged It’s Perfectly Normal is “pornographic” and that the book is available to minors at Elkhart County public libraries.

“We do not put porn in our collection. Period,” stressed Lisa Guedea Carreño, Director of the Elkhart Public Library. “This legislation is unnecessary, it’s threatening. It is basically making claims about what we have in our collection that are untrue.”

The proposed resolution additionally asks the Indiana General Assembly to “pass legislation repealing Indiana’s defense to prosecution for disseminating obscene matter to minors or conducting obscene performances before minors for schools, museums, and public libraries.”

Elkhart County Commissioner Brad Rogers (R-District 2) said he would not comment about the proposal on Monday but would after the Tuesday commissioners’ meeting.

Elkhart County Commissioner Suzie Weirick (R-District 3) said while she does not support pornography in any form, she believes the body development book mentioned in her colleagues’ proposal is, instead, a “sex education book.”

“It’s nothing I would give my children. It’s nothing I would use for my children. But it’s everybody’s right to educate their children appropriately as they see fit,” said Weirick on Monday.

Weirick has authored her own proposal that said the Elkhart County Commissioners must defend the public’s rights and liberties that are guaranteed by the State of Indiana and United States Constitutions.

“If we keep pushing this, I see no other way that the Bible can stay on the shelves. And the Bible should be available to everyone as should the Torah, as should everything available that meets the standard within the Constitution,” Weirick explained. “All of these books deserve to be accessed by everybody. And I believe that we should fight for those rights regardless and have responsible policies to protect our innocent youth.”

Elkhart County Commissioners are expected to discuss these proposed resolutions at their upcoming meeting on Tuesday, January 17th at 9 a.m. The meeting will take place at the County Administrative Offices at 117 North Second Street in Goshen.

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