Ross: Banning books won’t stop kids from learning about sex

Oct 6, 2022, 7:09 AM | Updated: Oct 7, 2022, 7:23 am
Books are displayed at the Patmos Library on August 11, 2022 in Jamestown, Michigan. Earlier this month primary voters rejected a proposal to continue funding the library after residents voiced their concerns over the availability of LGBTQ books in the youth section. (Photo by Joshua Lott/The Washington Post via Getty Images)
(Photo by Joshua Lott/The Washington Post via Getty Images)

There’s a flurry of stories warning about the return of book banning. I think we’re seeing them for a couple of reasons. National Banned Books week was last month, and because of the crisis facing the only library in the township of Jamestown, Michigan.

Elaine Quijano, CBS correspondent reports, “a small Michigan town is locked in a war over words. The battle is over these five books with LGBTQ themes.”

More from Dave Ross: Social media companies might actually be held responsible for the content they host

In 2020, the Jamestown Library mounted a display of award-winning young adult books, which included a memoir called “Gender Queer,” about growing up non-binary.

Nobody seemed to mind – until a video critique of the book, displaying some of its graphic illustrations, went viral. And suddenly, the library’s director, who wears pink hair and was openly queer, found herself under attack.

Jamestown is a mostly-Christian farming community of about 9,900 people. The library spends most of its budget on Christian fiction. Of the library’s 67,000 books, only 90 had an LGBTQ keyword. But the social media mob labeled the library director a groomer and pedophile, and things got scary enough that she quit.

And then, in the most recent levy election, residents voted to defund the library.

One of the defunders was Dean Smith – who said – this was not about book banning, he just “did not want to see any sexually or violently graphic material displayed for kids to see when they come in the library.

“No one wants the library closed, but they felt a strong message needed to be set. I’m not advocating for book banning, censorship, or anything that violates the First Amendment,” Smith said. “I am suggesting a compromise that materials that generate complaints from patrons remain available, but not displayed, placed under a counter, jacketed, next to the dumpster, whatever.”

Well, it turns out that’s exactly what the former director did, but she was run out of town anyway.

I myself dislike books about sex and violence, especially any book with “Shades of Grey” in the title. And yet romance and adventure titles are on display everywhere. Not just in libraries – I’ve seen them in grocery stores! Across from the artisan cheese!

But when I see one of these books on display, I take a stand. I don’t read it. Unless someone tries to forbid me from reading it, and then I probably would.

And as for what my children read back when they were kids, I’m pretty sure we shielded them from anything graphically sexual. And yet, somehow, they found out about sex anyway.

So, I would say if people like Dean Smith feel they need to defund the library to control the kind of books other people’s children see, that’s their right. Majority rules.

But the kids eventually find out about sex.

By the way, a pro tip for Christians who want to shield their kids from sex and violence. Lock up your copy of Genesis if you haven’t already.

Listen to Seattle’s Morning News with Dave Ross and Colleen O’Brien weekday mornings from 5 – 9 a.m. on KIRO Newsradio, 97.3 FM. Subscribe to the podcast here.

Dave Ross on KIRO Newsradio 97.3 FM
  • listen to dave rossTune in to KIRO Newsradio weekdays at 5am for Dave Ross on Seattle's Morning News.

Dave's Commentary

Dave Ross

Dave Ross

Ross: Lawsuit challenges election officials for a better process

Right now, there are 26,933 ballots statewide being challenged, and some are suing for rejecting ballots just because the signatures don’t match
17 hours ago
Dave Ross

Ross: Another year without any major election fraud issues in sight

We’re three weeks past the election - and, based on what I’m reading, there’s no indication of any organized attempt to change or steal votes
2 days ago
Thanksgiving dinner...
Dave Ross

Ross: How to keep your Thanksgiving peaceful this year

I know Americans define Thanksgiving as a holiday to remind us all why we moved away from our relatives. But it doesn't have to be that way.
7 days ago
Dave Ross

Ross: Could planes only have one pilot someday?

Just one pilot in the cockpit. That would free up more pilots to compensate for crew shortages, and of course, save money.
7 days ago
Dave Ross

Ross: Want to solve holiday travel? Just live closer to your family

The answer to solving holiday travel is always the same – the best time to fly is when nobody else is flying.
8 days ago
young voters...
Dave Ross

Ross: Young voters are key to Democrat wins, if they can get a high turnout

It said that young voters “delivered on President Joe Biden’s hopes they would turn out in the mid-terms,” and that voters under 30 were key.
9 days ago

Sponsored Articles


Medicare open enrollment is here and SHIBA can help!

The SHIBA program – part of the Office of the Insurance Commissioner – is ready to help with your Medicare open enrollment decisions.
Lake Washington Windows...

Choosing Best Windows for Your Home

Lake Washington Windows and Doors is a local window dealer offering the exclusive Leak Armor installation.
Anacortes Christmas Tree...

Come one, come all! Food, Drink, and Coastal Christmas – Anacortes has it all!

Come celebrate Anacortes’ 11th annual Bier on the Pier! Bier on the Pier takes place on October 7th and 8th and features local ciders, food trucks and live music - not to mention the beautiful views of the Guemes Channel and backdrop of downtown Anacortes.
Swedish Cyberknife Treatment...

The revolutionary treatment of Swedish CyberKnife provides better quality of life for majority of patients

There are a wide variety of treatments options available for men with prostate cancer. One of the most technologically advanced treatment options in the Pacific Northwest is Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy using the CyberKnife platform at Swedish Medical Center.
Work at Zum Services...

Seattle Public Schools announces three-year contract with Zum

Seattle Public Schools just announced a three-year contract with a brand-new company to the Pacific Northwest to assist with their student transportation: Zum.
Swedish Cyberknife 900x506...

June is Men’s Health Month: Here’s Why It’s Important To Speak About Your Health

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, men in the United States, on average, die five years earlier than women.
Ross: Banning books won’t stop kids from learning about sex