Local mom ‘picked up, dragged out’ of Renton Library event by police

Jun 25, 2019, 2:04 PM | Updated: 2:12 pm
binders, Renton Library, Wi-Fi...
The Renton Library is one of the places offering free Wi-Fi from the parking lot. (Courtesy of Renton Historical Museum)
(Courtesy of Renton Historical Museum)

Local mom Lynn Meagher said that police physically picked her up out of a chair and dragged her out of a Teen Pride event at the Renton Library this past weekend.

The get-together, part of the King County Library System’s county-wide Pride Month celebrations, marketed itself as an event “suitable for teens and tweens,” where attendees could enter a raffle for free chest binders and learn about safe sex.

Meagher previously came on the Dori Monson Show before the Des Moines Library hosted “Drag Queen Story Hour.” In the interview, she said that she found drag to be an offensive portrayal of women, akin to blackface in the way that it played on negative stereotypes of females.

This past weekend, Meagher and a group of other parents said that they did not go to the Renton Library to cause a scene, but to inform themselves of what local kids are experiencing at their libraries.

Library stands behind binder raffle, says they’re safer than DIY methods

“We didn’t come to dissent, we didn’t come to protest, we came to document,” she said.

She said that the drag queens at the event gave permission for anyone who wished to do so to photograph and film the performances, so she and the other parents were within their rights to document them digitally. A video of one of the performances can be viewed here (warning: sexually explicit dancing and language).

However, “at some point the library staff became aware that we were not exactly friendly to their event,” Meagher said.

She guessed that the questions she had asked about the chest binder gift card raffle during a Q+A period might have tipped them off.

When the Renton Library ended its regular hours at 5 p.m., staying open only for the event-goers, staff announced that every adult not accompanying a teen would need to leave.

“They approached us and only us — none of the other adults there were approached,” Meagher said. “They asked us if we had a teen with us, we said no — and they told us that were going to have to leave.”

The library announced that the event, which lasted until 7 p.m., had become private now that regular hours were over, but Meagher said that nothing on the posters and online advertisements had indicated the event was anything other than open to the public. She suspected this was a new rule made up on the spot to stop her group from documenting any more of the happenings.

“I was not going to let them pull down the shades and do whatever they wanted to these kids in secret,” she said. “And I felt determined that whatever they were going to do, they were going to do it in public.”

After a brief exchange during which Meagher’s group refused to leave, the library staff told her they would call the police. About 40 minutes later, the cops arrived.

“They physically picked me up out of my seat and dragged me out of the library, forcefully,” she said.

She said that the two police officers flanking her pushed her harshly, even though she was walking at a normal pace and not fighting back.

“They were shoving me out of the library, and one of the officers had his thumb [poked] into my arm very sharply and he was hurting my arm,” she said.

When she told him he was causing her pain, she said that he told her to walk faster.

It was not just the drag show and chest binder raffle that upset Meagher — she also was shocked by the amount of sexual information given to the young attendees, some of whom “couldn’t have been more than 10.”

“I had seen bowls of condoms passed out to tween children, they were given lube, they were given information — I had to have some of the things explained to me that they were demonstrating to these children,” she said. “I’m not really sure they needed to know all of this, at this point.”

On Monday, King County Library System spokesperson Sarah Thomas told Dori that the event was chosen and organized by the library’s Teen Voices program, and that the library feels it is important to hold events that reflect the diversity of its King County patrons.

In response to this past weekend’s incident, Meagher and the other parents are circulating petitions for King County residents to pledge that they will cease approving library levies until these types of events stop.

Meagher’s story has reached national news networks, and she doesn’t intend to let her voice get silenced.

“There are people talking about it, and I believe that more and more people are going to be talking about it,” she said. “And I don’t think they’re going to get away with it.”

Dori Monson on KIRO Radio 97.3 FM
  • listen to dori monsonTune in to KIRO Radio weekdays at 12 noon for The Dori Monson Show.

Dori Monson Show

Dori Monson

Inslee Phase 2...
Dori Monson Show

Mayor of Winlock says Gov. Inslee should ‘submit himself to medical review’

The mayor of Winlock passed a proclamation saying he believes Gov. Inslee requires professional medical intervention for narcissistic personality disorder.
3 days ago
Washington State Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta...
Dori Monson Show

State Senator disagrees with making insurance rates a ‘zero sum game’

State Senator Mark Mullet (D-Issaquah) explains why he's pushing back against Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler's emergency rule.
3 days ago
teen hit and run...
Dori Monson Show

‘We are a country of laws’: Councilmember echoes calls to prosecute teen hit-and-run suspect as adult

King County Councilmember Reagan Dunn is calling for the teen suspect of an alleged series of hit and run incidents to be tried in adult court.
4 days ago
class, quarantine...
Dori Monson Show

Federal Way mom says school district is unprepared for class to quarantine

A mom in Federal Way says her son's entire class has to be in quarantine after one kid tested positive for COVID, and there's no remote learning option.
6 days ago
Stolen truck, Everett...
Dori Monson Show

Stolen truck found, returned to 83-year-old Everett man

An 83-year-old Everett-area man is looking for his mint condition 1997 F-250 truck, after it was stolen out of his driveway earlier this week.
9 days ago
Tahoma High School...
Dori Monson Show

Student says fight at Tahoma school wasn’t racially motivated

A Tahoma High School student involved in a fight witnesses say included racial slurs is claiming that race was not a factor in the incident.
10 days ago

Sponsored Articles

IQ Air

How Poor Air Quality Is Affecting Our Future Athletes

You cannot control your child’s breathing environment 100% of the time, but you can make a huge impact.
Swedish Health Services

Special Coverage: National Prostate Cancer Awareness Month

There are a wide variety of treatment options available for men with prostate cancer. The most technologically advanced treatment option in the Northwest is Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy using the CyberKnife platform.
Marysville Police Department

Police Opportunities in a Growing, Supportive Washington Community

Marysville PD is looking for both lateral and entry level officers. Begin or continue your career in law enforcement for a growing, supportive community.
Courtesy of JWatch Photography....
Experience Anacortes

Summer Fun Activities in Anacortes

With minimal travel time required and every activity under the sun, Anacortes is the perfect vacation spot for all ages.
By Alaska Airlines

Calling all football fans: follow Russell on the road

Take your Northwest spirit that we’re known for on the road this season with Alaska Airlines.
By Marysville Police Department

Police Opportunities in a Growing, Supportive Washington Community

Marysville PD is looking for lateral and entry level officers. Begin or continue your career in law enforcement for a growing, supportive community.
Local mom ‘picked up, dragged out’ of Renton Library event by police