A group of activists from the organization Moms for Liberty in Florida recently reported school librarians to law enforcement, accusing them of distributing pornography to minors. However, it was later revealed that the material in question was actually a young adult novel.
Moms for Liberty has been described by the Southern Poverty Law Center as an anti-government extremist group due to its anti-LGBTQ+ positions and its advocacy for book bans and content restrictions in schools.
A video taken from a police officer’s body cam captured the incident, showing the group’s aggressive stance against educational materials they deem objectionable. Jennifer Tapley, a member of the Santa Rosa County chapter of Moms for Liberty, called the Santa Rosa County Sheriff’s Office, claiming that a crime was being committed at a local school.
In the video, Tapley expressed her desire to remain anonymous, stating that she didn’t want her identity to be searchable by the school. Another member of Moms for Liberty, Tom Gurski, asserted that a felony had been committed and presented what they believed to be evidence. He also claimed that Florida Governor Ron DeSantis considered the material to be child pornography.
The book at the center of the controversy, “Storm and Fury” by Jennifer L. Armentrout, is a young adult novel that includes some make-out scenes and sexually-themed content within a fantastical context. Despite objections raised by Moms for Liberty, the book has received endorsements from educational bodies and the author herself.
Tapley likened the book to handing a Playboy magazine to her child, emphasizing her belief that it was inappropriate for children. She also attempted to report a member of the school system for being “very liberal” and opposing the group “Stop Moms for Liberty,” which actively opposes the organization’s mission of removing certain books from school libraries.
The author of “Storm and Fury” expressed her shock at the incident, highlighting the absurdity of adults involving the police over a fictional book involving gargoyles.
This incident underscores the ongoing tensions between Moms for Liberty’s advocacy for what they perceive as “parents’ rights” and the opposing views of those who oppose book bans and content restrictions in schools.
It is worth noting that in September, Tina Descovich, a co-founder of Moms for Liberty, was appointed to the Florida Ethics Commission by Governor Ron DeSantis. This appointment aligns with the group’s influence in political circles and their efforts to promote conservative values in school curricula and library resources.
Moms for Liberty’s actions, including reporting school employees for their political affiliations or for opposing the organization’s agenda, have raised concerns about potential encroachment on personal freedoms and educational content.
For more information and to watch the video of the incident, visit the full report on Popular Information’s website.