Menomonie School District committee votes to keep two books in general use in the schools | WisCommunity

Menomonie School District committee votes to keep two books in general use in the schools

September 30, 2022 - 5:57pm
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Menomonie Schools Reconsideration Committee Meeting

On September 29 at 4 PM the Menomonie School District held a Reconsideration Committee Meeting. This committee has not met for a very long time and reconsidered two books that are in the school libraries of the district. Distrrict resident Josie Pillman has filed a complaint about two books It Feels Good to Be Yourself and Love Makes a Family. The agenda and policy for purchasing and reconsidering educational materials in the district are attached below. This is a public meeting and will be held in the Administrative Services Building, 215 Pine Ave. in Menomonie. 

 25 public comments were received by the committee in advance of the meeting. 

A machine transcript follows the meeting agenda and notes.

 

Twenty people have emailed in comments ahead of the meeting and many are registering to speak as they come in. The committee will make a determination as to whether public members will be allowed to speak. More chairs have needed to be set up to accommodate the crowd.

Superintendent Joe Zydowski has called the meeting to order.

 

Citizen Josie Pillman presented her argument for having the books removed from the schools. She claimed that the books tell lies, denying the facts of science that people are born with a sex. She stated that the board book being considered presented a family with two fathers, and that that is not a family based on love "but on lust". 

She suggested replacing the book with the book Just Ducky which explains that gender is not an expression of feelings, but of biology. She also suggested the New England Primer, published in 1777.

 The committee voted to accept the 25 written comments into the record of the meeting.

There were eight requests to make public comments in the meeting, some of which were also submitted in writing. All of the public comments were in favor of retaining the books in the school libraries.

The committee agreed to accept public comments at the meeting as established for school board meetings - 3 minutes per speaker. 

Hannah Lammer, an employee at UW Stout spoke in favor of keeping the books. "We should not be letting bigoted and unfounded claims about LGBTQ+ as a justification to remove books from the district".

Coltan Schoenicke spoke in support of keeping the books. "Removing these books is just as harmful to cis-gender kids as it is to trans-gender kids ... You should be able to be okay with who you are". 

Tina Lee - Professor of anthropology with a specialty in gender, family, and sexuality. "Around 2% of children are born every single year and it is not clear which sex they are based on their bodies". 

 Jessica Graham - The American Library Association states that libraries have a responsibility to give library users access to an entire range of library materials and programs. We are willing to make a note on a specific child's account that there are areas of books which their parents do not want them to access.

Michelle Reid - "Punching down on the most vulnerable members of society is not a sign of a healthy school district". She stated that the first amendment requires that different viewpoints be available to students. "They may not infringe upon the rights of others to read their books". She cited several of the district policies on gender and learning materials. C

 Carol Rapella - a retired English teacher from Menomonie HIgh School. Both of these books have received strong recommendations for elementary school students in professional journals.  She said it is important for students to see themselves represented and respected in school materials.

Dan Paulson - "THis material does not include information that is not acceptable by normal community standards". 

 A motion and a second were made to retain the books as is for general use. A roll call vote was taken - The vote was unanimous to retain the books for general use. 

The meeting will be live streamed on this page, on Facebook, and on YouTube.

NOTICE OF A MEETING OF THE SDMA RECONSIDERATION COMMITTEE

ADMINISTRATIVE SERVICE CENTER
215 PINE AVENUE E., MENOMONIE, WISCONSIN

THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 29, 2022, 4:00 P.M.

AGENDA

I. OPENING ITEMS

A. Call to Order

B. Roll Call and Introduction of Committee Members

C. Review of the Reconsideration Process

II. REQUEST FOR RECONSIDERATION

A. Reconsideration Requests

1. It Feels Good to Be Yourself (Theresa Thorn)

2. Love Makes a Family (Sophie Beer)

B. Presentation by the Complainant (if requested by the complainant)

C. Public Comment from Citizens and Professional Personnel (as determined by the committee)

III. DELIBERATION/ACTION BY THE COMMITTEE

A. Committee members may discuss the reconsideration request and any information related to the materials in question.

B. By majority vote of the members present, the reconsideration committee will decide to:

1. Retain the material under reconsideration for general student use.

2. Make material available on a limited basis for specific classroom use.

3. Make material available at a specific level- elementary, middle, or high school.

4. Make the material under consideration no longer available in the district for general student use.

IV. ADJOURNMENT

A. Action to Adjourn

 

 

oe Zydowsky

 

Okay, welcome everyone, we will go ahead and get started. My name is Joe Zydowsky. I'm a district administrator here in the School District of the Menominee. area. I would like to thank everyone for being here today. It's great to see this much interest in our school district. I will say that this is a bit of a unique process for us. This is my ninth year in the school district. And I don't think we've had any of these reconsideration meetings in the first nine years.

 

 

 

Joe Zydowsky

 

This is something that's becoming relatively common. I don't know if common is the right word, but not not uncommon, I should say. When you look at news reports from across the country and appreciate the process that we have, the school board did anticipate the possibility of this happening.

 

 

 

Joe Zydowsky

 

Last spring, the school board did review the district's policies, for reconsideration of learning materials. So the school board had very good insight in reviewing those policies and making sure we have things ready to go. But that being said, we haven't done this in a decade. So it may be a little funky. I see we have committee members who were all appointed last spring. But this is their first meeting as committee members. And most of you probably haven't sat at a board table with a full board room before. It's not the most comfortable feeling.

 

 

 

Joe Zydowsky

 

But folks, thank you for being here. And I'm sure this will be a real nice audience and good opportunity for us to go through this. I do also want to point out however, this is not a meeting of the district electors. Okay, this this is not meant to be a public meeting where there's a lot of public discourse and public voting and those types of things. This is a committee meeting. This is a meeting of the committee right here and Mrs. Pillman, has been invited to present to the committee. This is a meeting of the committee held in public. Okay, it's not a public meeting to the terminus. This is a committee meeting held in public. And that's a big distinction there.

 

 

 

Joe Zydowsky

 

So we do ask that you allow the committee to conduct their business. Please refrain from jeers and applause and things like that. If it gets that point, we're going to have to do something about it. And let's just not even go down that road. I'm sure we can have a very civil discourse and get to the bottom of this today. Okay, the agenda there. The word agenda is at the door. Hopefully, there's not quite the turnout, which is great. But we already called the meeting to order. Next is to have a roll call an introduction of committee members. I already said I'm Joe Zydowsky, the district administrator. I am not a voting member of this committee. I am simply here to facilitate this meeting.

 

 

 

Joe Zydowsky

 

The voting members of the committee are here at the table. So when I call your name if you could please indicate your attendance by saying here into the microphone. The committee by board policy is to be made up of a building administrator, a Central Office administrator, an elementary school, elementary school teacher, secondary school teacher, the district library media coordinator, and four District residents.

 

 

 

Joe Zydowsky

 

Representing building administrators in the school district is Susan Mommsen. Great Central Office administrator, Brian Seguine. And I should point out Susan is the high school assistant principal Ryan is the Assistant Superintendent of curriculum instruction. Next we have an elementary teacher Erin Kennedy. And Erin is a teacher at Wakanda Elementary School. secondary teacher is Jennifer Behrend. and Mrs. Behrend is English teacher at the high school district library media coordinator, Kimberly Navarro. Thank you for joining us, Kim, and district residents, Jolene Stark. Mark Winterfeldt, Emily Hines here. And Nicole Schmidt. And again, committee members, thank you so much. I'm sure when you said Yes, last spring, you did not envision what you're looking at right now.

 

 

 

Joe Zydowsky

 

Okay. So we have gotten through the roll call an introduction of committee members. Next is just a review of the reconsideration process, and committee members at your table and you've been sent all this stuff, but I think it's it's worth going through this a little bit. There's really two items that we need to call our attention to tonight in terms of the process. First of all, is school board policy 361. And that policy is for educational materials selection and evaluation. So the school board as the governing body of the district is legally legally responsible for all education materials in the district. As a policymaking body, the board delegates the responsibility for the selection of educational materials to the professionally trained personnel employed by the district and provides opportunities for parent and community input. professionally trained personnel includes the educators and administrators licensed by the Department of Public Instruction with supervised studies in curriculum and instruction.

 

 

 

Joe Zydowsky

 

Now, when we talk about tonight, we're talking about library materials. And in the policy it says the library media program provides students and teachers access to information in a variety of formats for instructional and leisure purposes. The centers must provide a wide range of materials and all levels of difficulty with diverse appeal representing different points of view. specific objectives are to provide materials that will enrich the support rich, enrich and support the curriculum. Taking into consideration the varying interest abilities and maturity levels of the students served. Provide materials that will stimulate growth in factual knowledge, literary appreciation, aesthetic values and ethical standards, provide materials on opposing sides of controversial issues so that students under guidance may develop the practical the practice of critical analysis, and provide materials representative of the many religious ethnic and cultural groups and their contributions to our American heritage.

 

 

 

Joe Zydowsky

 

Now, there is a process for the objectives, I'm sorry, for reconsideration. And for for the ability to raise an objection to the instructional materials to do this in the district. And that is outlined in the rule 361 And that's why we're here tonight. Mrs. Pillman has Mrs. Josie Feldman has submitted to the school district two requesst for reconsideration. One. For the book, it feels good to be yourself by Teresa Thorne. And secondly, the book Love Love makes a family by Sophie beer. And both those items have been received and committee members have been provided those outlines. So what we have next is that the committee members will hear from Mrs. Pillman and then at that point, the committee members can decide whether or not you want to hear public comment. Now, there has been over 20 written public comments shared with committee members, some are emailed directly and some were shared from the district through the district process. Committee members, but regardless all written communications received before noon today have been shared. After that the committee will deliberate and to discuss what the different options are. At that point, the committee can decide to retain the material under reconsideration for general student use, make it available on limited basis for specific classroom use only, available at specific level elementary, middle or high schoor make the material under consideration no longer available in the district for general student use. Any questions about the process at all from committee members? I know that was a lot. As we go through this. If you have a process question, please just stop ask and we can figure it out together. Okay, if there are no process questions, I will then turn it over to Mr. Josie Feldman. And Mrs. Pillman. You can present your request for reconsideration to this committee.

 

 

 

Josie Pillman

 

If you have one Question, will that be decided right here now? What's going to happen with the books? Or is there a deliberation time?

 

 

 

Joe Zydowsky

 

it would not have to necessarily happen here. Now to me, that would be the goal. But depending on the committee's desires, whether or not additional research or investigation would need to take place, it is possible that the decision would not happen tonight. But I think the goal of everyone wouldn't be a walk out of here with a decision.

 

 

 

Josie Pillman

 

Because I would like to present the hard copy of what I'm going to say, after I speak, and so they could have it in their hands if they wanted to when they're reconsidering. I don't want to do it right now. But I would do it afterwards. If that's okay.

 

 

 

Joe Zydowsky

 

That would be fine. You know, I did offer you the opportunity to provide background for all the committee members. I did not receive any background from you. So the committee members did not. However, we will accept it at your leisure. at your pleasure, I should say

 

 

 

Josie Pillman

 

thanks for I would like to do that then after I speak. Okay, thank you.

 

 

 

Josie Pillman

 

Ladies and gentlemen of the reconsideration committee and Dr. Zydowsky.. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to defend the removal of two books from the SDMA library system. It feels good to be yourself. A book about gender identity by Teresa Thorne, and love makes a family by Sophie beer. Let's first talk a little bit about education. Educators are given the weighty responsibility of teaching our children truth. That is truth in math, ie one plus one equals two. Truth in reading and spelling and history and science. It is absolutely essential that young scholars be taught the truth in every area. If one plus one equals two today, and three tomorrow. Truth is being trampled. In the halls of learning. The world of our children will be rocked with confusion. Trust is broken. This book is filled with myths and lies. Let me share a few.

 

 

 

Josie Pillman

 

Ruthie is a transgender girl. That means when she was born, everyone thought she was a boy until she grew a little older, old enough to tell everyone that she's actually a girl. But not everyone feels like either a boy or a girl. This is Ruthie's friend Alex. Alex is both a boy and a girl. JJ is neither a boy nor a girl. See, when you were born, you couldn't tell people who you were or how you felt. They looked at you and made a guess. Maybe they got it right. Maybe they got it wrong. What a baby's body looks like when they're born can be a clue to what the baby's gender will be but not always. Your feelings about your gender are real. Listen to your heart. This book is filled that's unfold now. This book is filled with myths and lies. Feelings do not inform us of our sex. Biology does.

 

 

 

Josie Pillman

 

You educators know that young children are made to trust the adults in their lives to tell them the truth about this world. Children are impressionable. When trusted teachers put lies into the minds of children. They just might believe them. If they don't flat out, believe them, they may begin to question what they have known to be true. So these children are being groomed to doubt what their parents and their church is telling them outside of school. They are being conditioned to believe a lie. You could call them seeds of wrong thinking. As the child begins to mature, it'll seeds of wrong thinking also begin to sprout and grow. Middle school children go through an age of questioning. The seeds of lies continue to grow and mature and worm their way more and more. The thinking of these now half grown children, doubts and fears arise.

 

 

 

Josie Pillman

 

Now entering the high school those myths can lead down a very dark pathway, possibly leading to transitioning, mutilation, permanent sterility, depression, mental illness, and even suicide. Those difficulties did not come out of nowhere. Remember, children are very impressionable. I'm quoting now from the school district, the SDMA is dedicated to preparing all students to become lifelong learners, caring individuals and responsible citizens, unquote. That has to start by teaching our very young Children, that one plus one is indeed two. It was two yesterday. It is two today and it will be tomorrow. You are a sex at birth. And that does not change ever.

 

 

 

Josie Pillman

 

The second book that I brought for you to consider is love makes a family. This book is designed to teach young children who cannot yet read and you can see it's a board book, the very cover shows four families, two dads and a child, two moms and a child, a single mom with a child and a fully intact mum and dad black family. In the case of the two dads and a child, that so called family is built on lust not love. As is the two mums with a child. Lust not love. The single mom is sad, as she for whatever reason needs to raise her child without the father figure. The black family is normal. A five year old does not have the discernment to recognize the subtle message of these pictures. He does not have the discernment to know what is a real family and what is a so called Family built on lust note the rain goes scattered around. That is also a symbol that normalizes the LGBTQ crowd. The symbol of the rainbow is stolen from the Bible. The main goal is not about normalizing so called homosexual marriages. The rainbow was put into the sky by the Lord God as a promise that he would never again set the flood upon the earth to wipe out evil human beings. God the Creator instituted a family to be one man and one woman and the offspring from that union. That is normal. And that is true. This book lies both books are full of dangerous lies. They are being used to harm our children.

 

 

 

Josie Pillman

 

I'm going to quote now, from an article by Carl Truman, I have permission to quote this. This was written in this magazine August 27. Quote, I need an idea that now grips the popular imagination. And I have many of our teachers believe sex is not primarily something we do it is something we are Take for example the terms lesbian gay bisexual Straight. Today they are intuitively meaningful to us. Yet in conceding that point we can see that desire not action defined sex which defines us to say I am straight is to make an identity claim. But it is not to assert that I have ever had a sexual encounter with anyone with someone else is a statement of felt desire, not action. Technology panders to the myths that fallen human beings want to believe about themselves. First, that we are free answerable to no one and masters of our own destinies. Second, that human nature involves no accountability to some set of objective moral standards. I'm going to continue this quote was by the article called a twist itself. We do live in a strange new world, the good news. It is built on a myth. We are born free but radically into matter radically dependent on others and subject to nature. under God, the bad news, we can do a lot of damage, trying to deny those basic and obvious truths. Unquote. I agree with this statement. We can do a lot of damage by denying obvious truth. And who are we damaging? our precious children?

 

 

 

Josie Pillman

 

I would like to mention a wonderful replacement for the gender identity book. That would be the book just ducky by Barbara Andreessen. The foreword says growing up can be difficult and confusing. Why is old duck has a lot of common sense and teaches little ducky and important truth. Truth. Contentment is found in self acceptance. Here are a few quotes from this book on a small farm with the family of ducks, daddy duck, Mommy duck and five ducklings one middle duckling was confused. He thought he was a rooster. One day he found the farmer's red work glove and put it on his head. See, I'm a rooster just like rooster righty But the other barnyard animals just laughed at them. You're not a rooster they said that well looks silly on your head. They're lucky he was sad. He was so sure he was a rooster. He even started practicing how to crow. However, it sounded more like quack a doodle do. Why is all that said? Let me help you understand who you are. Look at your feet, your webbed feet. Your feet are not like a roosters feet. Yes, but I don't feel like a duck. I feel like a rooster reply little ducky. Remember who you are isn't based on your feelings explained wise old duck. feelings change? What doesn't change is the way you were made. Now that your bill should continue, you have a nice bill not a beak like a rooster. That wonderful Bale was made so you could catch small fish and insects. Ducks were made to do things that roosters cannot do. He realized that why is all that was right. Being a rooster wasn't all it was cracked up to be your mean and was made just the way I am for a reason? Yes, no mistakes quacked wise old duck. l that this book expresses truth not lies. It helps a young child know the truth about himself into his world. It does not give any credence to feelings as a basis for truth about ourselves. It gives high respect and regard for the older wiser duck. this is a book that should get past the gatekeepers of our libraries.

 

 

 

Josie Pillman

 

Another book I have is the New England Primer. This was published in 1777. The foreword reads. The New England primer introduced in Boston in 1690 by Benjamin Harris was the first textbox print textbox entered in America. For a century after its introduction, it was the beginning textbook for students. And until well into the 20th century, there was a 1930 edition, it continued to be a principal text in all types of American schools, public, private, semi private, home, then parochial, etc. The founders as well as millions of other Americans learn to read from the New England primer and the Bible. Take a listen to some rhymes for learning your letters, a in Adam's fall, we sinned all. B the heaven to find the Bible mind. See, Christ crucified for sinners died. D the deluge drowned the earth around E. Elijah headed by ravens and so on. It might surprise you the type of books are fine Founding Fathers learn from somebody may not even allow past our gatekeepers and into the library today at Knapp Elementary. I'm realizing how many more dangerous books just might be hidden on the shelves of Matt Knapp Elementary. So in conclusion, I want to implore you to vote wisely when you decide what to do with these two books. And I would say Please remove both books and the library, all the libraries. Thank you.

 

 

 

Joe Zydowsky

 

Very, very common. Thank you for your testimony. And thank you everyone for being so respectful during that time period. Okay. Next up, after we've had the presentation by the complainant, next step would be to decide what to do with public comment. Now, committee members you have received, I believe it was 25 If I counted correctly, 25 public comments, and I think what would potentially be appropriate would be for the committee to accept those into the record. Those comments were from Joyce Ulihr Courtney Ernst Stephanie Mae Susan Lindell, Jeff Rector, Chris Fisher, Charis Collins, Tim Dolan, Danny gesslin, Jessica Graham, Alex Hall, Elena Marshall, Hannah Lambert, Cody and Amanda Raymer. Warren and Marian Lang called Schnittke. Should it be sorry Colton. People butcher My name all the time, but it doesn't make it right sorry. Chelsea Lovejoy Laurel and Robert Freya, Bobby and our grant. A number of members of Menominee cares Bob Salt, Leslie Norris Jennifer Luciana Lucy Annie When you slide back, Kathleen McFerrin and then also received from Kat Brogan, with any committee member like to make a motion to enter those into the record. Okay. Emily Himes, seconded by Julian start. Any discussion? Any objection? All in favor signify by saying aye. Anybody opposed? Okay, those items have been entered into the record.

 

 

 

Josie Pillman

 

That is it asking me to ask these around, just start from there. Yeah,

 

 

 

 

that's fine. Okay, thank you, you can come up and go wherever you'd like. Thank you, Joseph. And we can add Mrs. Pillman's comments to the record as well. They've already been entered through her presentation. We have received eight, I believe, requests to provide public comment to the committee. And that's the policy is it's really up to the committee to determine whether or not you would like to have that happen. I have noted that at least a few of these also came in as written public comments. Typically, the school board does allow for public comment at school board meetings. Typically, the school board allows for three minutes for public comment for speaker. But it's really, whatever committees desire would be any committee members would like to provide a suggestion of what to do.

 

 

 

Brian Seguine

 

My suggestion would be for public comment for those of you that are with us, simply for us to adopt the board procedure as far as public comment and follow these guidelines since they're already established.

 

 

 

Brian Seguine

 

Sorry, my suggestion to the committee would be that we allow for public comments By adopting

 

 

 

Brian Seguine

 

the existing rules that the school board has for handling public comments for three minutes. period of time.

 

 

 

 

Okay, so this isn't a motion, Brian? Yes. So the motion on the table is to allow for public comments By adopting the rules for school board meetings, which allow us for three minutes per speaker, is there a second to that motion? All right, second by Mark WInterfeldt, so we have a motion by Brian say one second by Mark, any questions or comments? Okay, all in favor signify by saying aye. Anybody opposed to that? Okay, then we'll start with public comments, and we'll take them in the order received first would be Hannah lammer. Hannah, if you could please come to the middle there and just stand up. Thank you, Josie. You You've done this before. Where is the microphone on? Yeah, we can hear you please just please just stand. And yeah, if you could just introduce yourself, and I'll start the timer once you begin your speech.

 

 

 

Hannah Lammer

 

Sure. Thanks for seeing me today.

 

 

 

Hannah Lammer

 

My name is Hannah lever and I live in Menominee. I was raised in Menominee. Graduated from an Ivy League school spirit has my English teacher. And now I work at UW Stout, with diverse and marginalized students had a lengthier letter, but I'm going to kind of stick to one particular section that really stuck out to me in response to the complaint. I was really distraught to learn in the attempt to remove these two books from the district libraries. I believe these efforts are at their core a blatant attack on the attack on the rights and humanity of LGBTQIA people through children's books. As a school district that purports to value and provide a culturally relevant curriculum. We should not be letting bigoted and uncommon claims about LGBTQ identities dictate access for the entire school district, in a recent school board meeting was held in reference to the high level of suicidality and transgender youth as a reason not to offer these books. The first is the fact that she mentioned this, be sure to provide any context about this statistic. You can look it up and there's numerous studies I have found more recently in 2021, which I also submitted, while the young people who are allowed to transition socially transition that is, adopt names, pronouns, gender expression, haircuts, or clothes, of their preferred gender have better mental health outcomes and those who are not allowed to transition. They found that the most harmful element to being transgender is the experiences of harassment based on your gender identity.

 

 

 

Hannah Lammer

 

This is just one of numerous studies documenting this when we ban books that explain and validate and celebrate difference. We are contributing to stigma and harassment that leads to negative mental health outcomes and suicide. So if we want to be on that side, go ahead and ban those books, safe and affirming it social environments are the key to reducing those things. As health outcomes, and offering books like this allows students to feel seen, valued and understood. I don't support any of these books. And I'm really honestly horrified that this is even up for debate, the exhausting to constantly defend the right of people to simply exist. The fact that humanity is up for debate, whether their stories should be told, is shameful. If you take the books out of our school district, you are sending a direct message to the students that their rights as learners and their physical safety come secondary to one person's view of morality. You're disregarding on people's ability to see themselves reflected in the stories they read. And you're denying the chance for other young people to build empathy for experiences that are different than their own. Then you'd be acting and also in direct opposition to your own mission statement and values. This is your call to keep these stories accessible.

 

 

 

Joe Zydowsky

 

Okay, very good. Thank you. Next, have Danny gets gets in the end. Let's say that right? Yes, yes. And then after Danny will have Holden. Danny, go ahead.

 

 

 

Danny

 

Hello, thank you. And it would just be ideally, you're setting it straight while you're in high school. And when I found out about the books that might be considered to be banned. I was flabbergasted because representation really matters. All students want to know and see themselves. And so they also get privilege to when they get those words, when they see oh, that's me. And so sometimes consumers in the social world get rates, students don't realize that means you're actually seeing representation. I'm a person who's deaf, I did not see a single person represented posters of books. And I scrolled until my senior year of high school and Wisconsin School for the Deaf is in my hometown. So at the blue line mines that represent us and so I would like on the hill, so I want these books and not be so I said well, and one of the things that I want to leave on is that we do the maximize that books out of bookshelves is going to be veiled. So we use a book about Duck? Ducks don't talk so. Okay, thank you very much.

 

 

 

 

So next up is Coltan, and after Colton is Tina Lee.

 

 

 

Coltan

 

Thank you for giving me the time and the chance to chase in my unicorn shakey My pronouns are they them, I am alumni of UW Stout, several times over as well as a PhD student at Antioch University, as well as a mental health therapist in town who works especially with Koreans view. We have also just an actual like living Korean person, which for some people in the room, it sounds like Santa Claus is here, because we use actually. So first off, I would really like to caution the discussion around truth when we're clearly ignoring the scientific process, where the foundation of the scientific process is that we have evidence, we find new information and we change our theory based on the new evidence that was presented. That's literally how this works. If it wasn't, we would still have our medicine based on the four humors. So not bad science for you. I submitted a letter that also just laid about a bunch of stuff out about how like, all of this is scientifically not accurate, and y'all can refer to that because it's in the record. And plus two if I just go into that there's people here who will listen to me and won't listen to me, so that's fine. One thing that was conveniently ignored when reading through the book was the page immediately after talking about Ruthie which I'll review. his is Ricky's brother, Xavier. Xavier is a cisgender. Boy, that means when Xavier was born, everyone thought he was a boy. And as he grew older, it turned out everyone was right. He is a boy. Removing these books is just as harmful to cisgender kids as it is to transcript because what these books tell you is that transgender or cisgender, you are okay as you are, I want you to just think for a second and your own gender identity, whatever that may be those moments where you just felt like this is great. This is me. I don't know if it was like a great outfit you had or like supporting your family or whatever it is those great moments. You should be able to be okay with who you are because it makes you happy. Not because someone says that's what you should be. This look is important. And removing it hurts everyone.

 

 

 

Joe Zydowsky

 

Very good. Thank you. Next up is Tina Lee. And after Tina would be Gilda, I believe built before. Yes. Okay, great. Thanks. Well, go ahead.

 

 

 

Tina Lee

 

So Hi, I'm Tina Lee, I am both a professor of anthropology, which means that my field of study is human nature and what is it, and my specialty within that larger field is gender, family and sexuality. I'm also a parent of two children in the district. One who identifies as partly LGBTQ in one way will point out, and another one who's in one of the elementary schools. So as an anthropologist who studies these things, and understands human nature in a very, very deep way and teaches about it at the college level. I'm here to tell you that homosexual families are not the only way that families have existed throughout human history, and other cultures and even in our own society. I'm also here to tell you that around 2% of children are born every single year, and it is not clear whether they are clearly a boy or a girl in terms of their biological physical bodies. same sex marriages occur across cultures, multiple gender categories occur across cultures. Our society has until very recently enforced heterosexuality and forced a gender binary in ways that are sometimes violent. But currently today, students who identify as transgender live in our district born in our district, diverse sets of families exist in our district, live in our district. And what we know is that having books that can discuss these things in a very matter of fact, way, including explaining that there are folks who are born a certain gender feel like they're always that gender really does express truth about who is in our district, we know that you are not accepted. They are the ones with the higher mental health challenges. And with higher rates of suicide, suicide was already mentioned, but I'll just mention one study in 2018. About half of transgender youth those who are assigned female and identify currently as male have committed or attempted suicide 42% of non binary youth students who don't feel like they're one or the other. And about 30% of youth who are assigned male at birth and identify as female have attempted suicide attempt. And we know from all of these studies, that what causes the suicide attempts, what causes mental health issues, what causes the substance abuse issues, is not the questioning is the fact that they're not accepted as normal. And we know that they are normal. I'm here to tell you as a student of humanity, they are absolutely normal. Public schools have a responsibility to educate all children, including children who come from diverse families, children who feel differently about their identity. And we know that a sense of belonging and safety at school is necessary for learning and necessary to keep children healthy. Books that simply acknowledge just simply acknowledge diverse family forms and gender identities further the goals of allowing a space where students are accepted, where they feel safe, and where they can learn. These things need to be on bookshelves because they're going to help children understand

 

 

 

Joe Zydowsky

 

how the heck you turn us off you the board president here I don't usually do the time, right. Okay, Tina, thank you. Alright, so next we have Gilda and then on deck will be Jessica DRAM kill the board. I say that correctly. Before Java, I apologize.

 

 

 

Gelda

 

Me and also historian and I specialize in imperative period and colonial history. And when the 1690s and till 1750, a lot of witchcraft were still hanging women for witchcraft. And that wasn't changed in the 1750s was one of the books that introduced this being discussed. And if we're going to discuss Founding Fathers, they're not stupid, who got our troops together. And there's an argument that we wouldn't have the same country without him live with two men and, you know, in a very different manner than we seem to have when George Washington trusted him, so did all of our other founding fathers to in creating the country. So I just wanted to address that. If we're going to discuss this, we've discussed it on a bigger scale. But as a parent of a school aged child and a resident of Menominee. It came to my attention to two books with the challenge for removal from the district libraries. The two questions were children's books regarding LGBTQ families and gender expression or identity, our family read them together to better understand them. Stories like these have utility to not only empower but to validate those that feel different or likely do not belong. representation matters a great deal. Children and teenagers that do not see themselves represented may question that we're through the lobby. Families are varied and has a very different makeups not all are traditional. Some have two moms, two dads, a single mom, a single dad, or rotate generations in one household that might include a different than traditional makeup. reading and learning about diverse gender and LGBTQ stories helps to promote tolerance, understanding and acceptance. This is vitally important to help build a better, more compassionate and more tolerant society. According to the CDC, nine out of ten LGBTQ students experience bullying, teasing and sometimes violence, one out of three LGBTQ youth attempt suicide or have suicidal thoughts. LGBTQ students are 140 times more likely to miss school than heterosexual students because they are concerned about their safety. So why are these books being questioned? Why are they potentially being banned? Is a personal opinion, values or belief? Is it a religious be belief, the First Amendment guarantees freedom of religion? And if your religious beliefs are leading to banning and suppression of information stories, you are potentially violating and oppressing the religious freedom of another. Public officials cannot make decisions based upon religious beliefs, ideology or viewpoints. Is it because there's fear that the stories are sexual in nature, many children learn about Virgin Mary and immaculate conception from a very young age, but they cannot learn about different gender identities or non traditional experiences. Many children's books contain a traditional mother and father that are expressing love and intimacy with their children and family. Why is this an issue in a storybook where there are fathers two mothers or doing something similar? How does this deny repressed expressions of intimacy and love based upon direct family makeup or gender identity? If you're demanding the removal and damage of these books, ask yourself why do you yourself have a limited knowledge of the world around you? Are you fearful of others? Do you think that some ideas, identities and expressions have more value than others? When you add or remove a book, you're making the decision that tells someone they are not worthy? Okay, thank

 

 

 

Joe Zydowsky

 

you. Thank you.

 

 

 

Joe Zydowsky

 

Okay, next, we have Justin Graham. And on deck, Michelle Lee. Yeah, stay here. Yeah, you're right there. Go ahead, just

 

 

 

Jessica Graham

 

so I submitted a statement in writing previously, but I just like to go back and highlight two points from that, if that's already. In the National School Library standards for learners, school librarians and school libraries, it states, the American Library Association, stringently and unequivocally maintains that libraries and librarians have an obligation to resist efforts that systematically exclude materials dealing with any subject matter, including sex, gender identity, or sexual orientation. Librarians have a professional obligation to ensure that all library users have free and equal access to the entire range of library services, materials and programs. But in addition, I'd like to point out that the library also recognizes that what is right for one family might not be right for another family. And we are more than willing to make a note on any student's account. If a parent doesn't want them to check out a specific subject matter or specific book title. We are more than happy to accommodate that. Thank you.

 

 

 

Joe Zydowsky

 

Thanks. Thank you, Miss Graham. And I don't think you've introduced yourself, but Miss Graham is one of the library media specialists in the school district. I know there's other titles, but thank you for being here. Okay. So Michelle, read this out. And Carol repeller.

 

 

 

Michelle Reid

 

Michelle Reid, born and raised in Menomonie. Raising my child in Menomonie has been in the district since Four K High School. And I'm here speaking as a mother as a an ally, of LGBTQ students, families, and as an author. And everyone who's come before me has already spoken beautifully about how horrifying it isn't really even here. And then really considering banning books. That's not the sign of a healthy democracy to ban books and punching down at the most vulnerable children and their families is not the sign of a healthy school districts. But I'm here to speak about the law and what it means what the district already has in place. So my statement is I strongly, strongly urge you to keep it feels good to be yourself and love makes a family on the shelves in the libraries of the Menomonie schools and to uphold the freedom to read for all students in our community, the Supreme Court has ruled that the right of all children to read books free of viewpoint discrimination is guaranteed by the First Amendment. Not everyone in our community shares the views of those opposes sweets inclusive books, and the challenges. challengers have no right to impose their views on others or demand that the educational program reflect their personal preferences. They may not infringe upon the rights of others to read the books, or tell other parents with their college degree.

 

 

 

Michelle Reid

 

I would urge you to continue to follow the district policies already in place, or an education policy 110 philosophy of education states the district will quote, develop and students appreciation and respect for the dignity and worth of others and expand and advanced the humane dimensions of students especially by helping them to identify and cultivate their own morals and ethical values and attitudes. Policy four, one 1.2 says the school district of the Maggie areas purpose is to foster inclusive and welcoming learning environments that are free from discrimination, harassment and bullying regardless of sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression, including transgender and gender non conforming students and to create safe and supportive learning and working environments. Also policy 113 and discrimination district programs activities and operation says the district requires and will enforce non discrimination in a manner that is consistent with applicable constitutional provisions and with the rights and obligations that are established under all applicable state and federal civil rights laws. In 1982, I went to school district V pico the Supreme Court ruled quote, local school boards may not remove books from school library shelves, simply because they disliked the ideas contained in those books and seek by their removal to prescribe what shall be orthodox in politics, nationalism, religion, or other matters of opinion. And that's what we're here because of someone's opinion, the Free Exercise Clause of the Constitution does not allow schools to remove books based on the rigors of debt. I'm here and that all LGBTQ Kids Matter, and I love you.

 

 

 

Joe Zydowsky

 

Alright, thank you very much. Next week, Carol Rapella And then Dan Paulsen. This is what Paul is great to see you back in the district.

 

 

 

Carol Rapella

 

Great to be here. Thank you. My name is Carol Pella, and I live here in Menominee.

 

 

 

Hannah Lammer

 

I have two children, a son who's a junior at MHS and the daughter who graduated from the NAMI High School six years ago. Up until my very basic retirement I taught English at Menominee High School. As a parent and an educator, I am deeply opposed to removing these books from the school library. Both books have received excellent reviews in professional journals, and are recommended for elementary age students. More importantly, these books reflect and respect the diversity of our schools and community. Representation in literature is crucial for children. My husband died when my children were very young, and I raised them as a single parent. It was important for my children to see characters and literature who are also being raised by just one parent. For my son who was adopted from Guatemala. It was also important to see people of color featured in stories and textbooks. This is certainly true for LGBTQ families and LGBTQ students as well. They deserve representation and respect. Despite the religious beliefs of some in our public schools. educational decisions should not be based on religion. Please vote to retain these books.

 

 

 

 

Thank you. Very good. Thank you, Mrs. Rapella. And last, Dan Paulson.

 

 

 

Dan Paulson

 

I'm Dan Olson. And I'm writing from the perspective on who looks at what is curriculum. Why is curriculum so constructed? And what is the impact of curriculum, and you have obtained a turbo great degree, and 40 years of study, curriculum and instruction that should be able to provide some insight into the issue. It is important to understand what we are teaching and why this includes not only the direct lessons taught to students and classrooms, but also the hidden curriculum of undeclared knowledge and information that students learn in schools and also includes the instructional materials is an interesting side as well as made available to students in classrooms and hikers, is also important to provide information that is accurate and understandable for students in school. My analysis of literature in question reveal that they do not contain any written or graphic content that is considered obscene or vulgar. All right general community standard material information that is cognitively extract requiring knowledge that is beyond simple observations or the concrete thinking abilities. That concepts discussed are those that most children understand before and during pre kindergarten programs, I have experience working with four year old children and also they are, are exposed to gender variations even on the streets of Menominee as well as in understanding the development of gender identity is complex with competing theories, and it's changed over the last four years. Gender is associated with sets of an injured individual, but is not biologically determined by X and Y chromosome chromosome inheritance, rather, is a uniquely human construct that is part of the identity and expression of that identity. Gender is something that develops over time and is socially culturally influenced. There are also individuals who are born intersex is a significant combinations and numbers of chromosomes are acceptable, for example, xx, xx, xx, x, x, y and x bar in areas such as Kohlberg postulated that three stages of generating stage one generate application. By age two, they may become conscious of the differences between boys and girls stage through gender stability by age five, they understand their gender roles. In stage three gender constancy by six or seven they understand sections per minute, or se situations over describes generate identity relevant does not explain how children form gender identities. His work has been criticized for gender bias, ignoring the feelings and cultural influences. The fact is that the vast majority of individuals gender identity is stable by the time they are in school.

 

 

 

Joe Zydowsky

 

Thanks, Dan. Thanks, Stan. And were there any other forms filled out at this point? I think we got everybody. Okay, if you could click off that microphone, please. Mrs. Pillman, I appreciate that. Thank you. Thank you, everyone, again, for providing your input. And thank you also, for being such a great audience are respectful to each other. I do think that's a terrific sign for our school district. And I think we can all be proud of that. So great job. Okay, committee. Now, it's kind of your turn, you've had a chance to about an hour here to think about things hear a lot of information. And at this point, committee members, that now would be a great opportunity for you to ask any questions you might have, whether that be questions directed to me or the district or the librarian. You could have asked Mrs. Pillman any questions that you have, but ultimately, committee members, but we would like at some point is for someone to make a motion. And by majority vote of the members President present tonight, the reconsideration committee will decide to do one of four things, retain the material under reconsideration for general student use, make it available on limited basis for specific classroom use, make it available at a specific level, elementary, middle or high school, or make the material under consideration, no longer available in the district for general student use. So, committee members, anybody wanna ask a question or share a thought?

 

 

 

Jolene Stark

 

Just make the motion that you keep it in the school library under the first provision.

 

 

 

Joe Zydowsky

 

Okay, so Joey here if you're making a motion to retain the material under reconsideration for general student I second. Okay, so we have a motion and a second.

 

 

 

Joe Zydowsky

 

Any questions, comments? Anything you want to vote Okay. Let's do a roll call on this one. Count. So yeah, yes or no, I whatever. Nicole. Jenny, yes. Emily. Yes, Ryan? Yes. Going? Yes, Erin. Yes. Mark, Susan. Yes. Okay, it's unanimous. This committee recommends to the school board that these materials remain in general student use. Mrs. Feldman, thank you again for submitting your request for consideration. At this point, I would say this matter is now closed for this committee. And actually, could I get a motion to adjourn the meeting? I'll make that motion. Motion by Brian. Seconded by Nicole. We stand adjourned. Thank you everyone.

 

 

 

Josie Pillman

 

I ask it says no board appeal is requested.

 

 

 

Joe Zydowsky

 

Thank you.

 

 

 

 

Comments

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It is sad when one person feels compelled to impose her religious beliefs on all our children.

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Worse it's not just their bigoted religous beliefs... it's their pure joy in being xenophobic fascist scum. Resist all right wing terror.

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