The Clay School Board muted the microphone of a concerned parent attempting to read pornographic book available to students in the district’s library, according to video footage of a school board meeting as the district’s attorney berated and humiliated the concerned parent.
James Bruce Bickner, aka J. Bruce Bickner, is the Clay County School Board who can repeatedly be heard lecturing the father, saying at one point: ” if you’ll hush your mouth for a minute, and listen, instead of just talking, you may learn something.”
The video is below.
The father attempted to read “Lucky,” by Alice Sebold, a book which discusses the brutal rape and beating 18-year-old college freshman Sebold. This book is available at Fleming Island High School and Orange Park High School, according to the district’s Library Media resources.
“If there’s children watching, cover their ears,” the parent said. The school board immediately cut his microphone and told him to “hush [his] mouth.”
“Turn off his microphone, please. I told you, I’m stopping you,” Bickner said. “The reason I’m stopping you is because these meetings are — if you’ll hush your mouth for a minute, and listen, instead of just talking, you may learn something.”
When the parent requested his time back, the lawyer said that the parent will get his time back to discuss something other than “pornography.”
“You’ll get it back. But, you’ll get it back to talk about something besides reading pornography into a public television set,” the school official said.
The video clip has gone viral across Twitter.
UNREAL. A dad says he’s gonna read from graphic books available to children in school and gets shut down by @oneclayschools board before he even starts because it might be against the law to read from these books in front of children.
These books are in school libraries. pic.twitter.com/PCJSMCttq5
— Libs of TikTok (@libsoftiktok) July 12, 2022
Ashley Gilhousen, a Clay County School Board member, spoke to the Daily Caller, claiming that the board is working to remove the content that this parent brought forth “prior to the return of students in August.”
Gilhousen condemned the school board attorney’s tone, but also noted that she speaks only for herself and not the entire school board.
“The School Board Attorney should not have responded in the tone and manner in which he did,” Gilhousen said. “It was condescending and disrespectful to the speaker … I have every confidence that any objectionable material will be removed.”