Tudor Dixon plans to ban ‘pornographic’ books from Michigan schools

  • Tudor Dixon says sex scenes in books are too graphic for school
  • GOP gubernatorial candidate calls on state superintendent to resign over LGBTQ training videos
  • Dixon proposes a reorganization of the Ministry of Education

LANSING — Republican candidate for governor of Michigan Tudor Dixon said Tuesday she would support a statewide ban on “pornographic” books in schools and called on state Superintendent Michael Rice to resign because of a newly revealed teacher. training videos on LGBTQ issues.

Dixon didn’t say which books she would like to ban from Michigan schools, in particular, but said she would “take a look” at the titles to “make sure we don’t have kids. reading pornographic material – or a teacher reading pornographic material – for a child at school.

When asked how she would define pornography, Dixon described “two naked people, and they act like one sex act, and several different sex acts.”

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The proposal offered in response to a reporter’s question as Dixon hosted a media event calling for Rice’s resignation, is the latest salvo in a conservative culture war on books and graphic novels some parents have deemed inappropriate for the children.

Last month, voters in Jamestown Township voted for finance their public library amid concerns over a graphic novel, “Gender Queer: A Memoir,” which tells the author’s coming-of-age story as non-binary and includes illustrations of sex acts.

Dixon has previously criticized “Not All Boys Are Blue: A Memory Manifesto», a book for young adults by a queer and black author who would have removed from schools in eight states because it contains descriptions of sex acts.

In Florida, the administration of GOP Governor Ron DeSantis has banned several textbooks as part of its effort to arrest alleged students”indoctrination.”

In total, local and state authorities across the country banned 1,648 individual book titles between July 2021 and June 2022, 41% of them with LGBTQ themes or characters, according to a count of Pen Americaa non-profit organization that promotes freedom of expression.

“This book ban movement is deeply undemocratic, in that it often seeks to impose restrictions on all students and families based on the preferences of those calling for the bans,” Pen America said in a recent report. .

Dixon called his potential book ban an example of strong leadership.

“Leaders aren’t afraid to say that if an adult is caught showing children pornography and talking to them about sex at school without their parents’ consent, that adult will be prosecuted as they see fit. would be if he did it on the school bus,” Dixon said.

The Norton Shores Republican spoke outside the Michigan Department of Education headquarters in Lansing, where she stepped up her criticism of the department’s training videos that suggested it was sometimes good for teachers.

not informing parents of their child’s sexual orientation gender orientation.

“Radical political activists” have turned Michigan schools into “laboratories for social experiments,” Dixon said. how to read and write.

The training videos have also been pushed back by Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s administration.

On Friday, his administration suggested the Michigan Department of Education make changes to “continue to incorporate the parent perspective into the work you do.”

Rice, the state superintendent, resists the interruption of the training videossaying teachers should be cautious about sharing a student’s sexual orientation and gender identity with a parent if the child fears it could lead to abuse, neglect or neglect. roaming.

“Michigan schools are committed to building strong partnerships with parents,” Rice wrote in a Monday op-ed for Bridge Michigan. But “not all parents are supportive when they find out or are told their child is gay or transgender,” he added.

Two Republican members of the state Board of Education called on Rice to resign before Dixon also did so on Tuesday.

“If he doesn’t think parents deserve to know what’s going on with their child in our public schools that (taxpayers) fund, he doesn’t deserve a seat at the table,” she told the court. headquarters of the Department of Education, where supportive parents have joined. her and offered her a round of applause.

Asked about Dixon’s comments, Michigan Department of Education spokesman Martin Ackley said Rice had “no intention of resigning.”

Rice remains “committed to working with parents and educators across the state to protect the health, well-being and education of all Michigan students,” Ackley told Bridge Michigan in an email.

Later Tuesday, majority Republican lawmakers in the Michigan Senate passed A resolution condemning the education department’s training videos.

“No Democratic bureaucrat should be advising teachers to hide information about their students’ welfare from their own parents,” said Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey, R-Clarklake.

State Sen. Jeff Irwin, D-Ann Arbor, accused Republicans of “wallowing in the filth of another contrived non-issue that was designed to spread fear by attacking marginalized communities.”

The resolution is a “cruel and cynical attempt to use the very real discrimination that transgender children face as a political sword,” Irwin said.

At Tuesday’s event, Dixon slammed Whitmer, arguing that the Democratic incumbent has personally been “silent” on LGBTQ training videos despite Friday’s response from Tricia Foster, Whitmer’s chief operating officer.

“That doesn’t count,” Dixon said of Foster’s letter to Rice. “…We want to hear from the governor, but we won’t, because she agrees with radical sex and gender activists.”

In a response statement, Whitmer campaign spokesperson Maever Coyle criticized other Dixon proposals and said the governor “knows that parents are crucial and should be involved in decisions about education. of their child”.

Whitmer on Monday announced the members of his new “Michigan Parent Council” who will contribute to the state’s education budget. In doing so, she called parents “the first and most important teacher of their children”.

The Michigan Department of Education does not work directly for Whitmer. Instead, it’s governed by the State Board of Education, an elected panel that currently includes five Democrats and two Republicans, with one vacancy. The council, which hired Rice in 2019, is also responsible for choosing the state superintendent.

If elected, Dixon said she would propose a reorganization so that the Department of Education and the superintendent “report directly to the governor,” arguing it’s time to stop “pushing the blame onto unofficial bureaucrats.” elected” like Rice.

This would require voter approval to change Michigan’s Constitution. “That would be my goal,” Dixon said.

The Republican has made education and parental rights a key part of her campaign. She promised to “protect women’s sports” by banning the participation of transgender students born as biological males.

She proposed a “Parents’ Right to Know Act” that would require schools to publish online the name of every textbook or library book available to students, the curriculum for every class, and any program or consultant from ” diversity, equity or inclusion” hired by the district.

Dixon also backs a plan backed by the powerful DeVos family for private school scholarships.

Dixon also told Bridge that she would support a Michigan version of Florida’s Parents’ Rights in Education Act that would ban any instruction related to sexual orientation or gender identity before fourth grade.

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