Parents entrust their children to schools, hopeful that the kids will receive a quality education. However, not everyone agrees on what should be considered appropriate exposure for kids at school.
John Rich, a country music singer, is receiving backlash from the public for his support of censoring books in schools.
During a hearing with the Tennessee House of Representatives legislative committee, Rich compared teachers and librarians to pedophiles who are trying to kidnap kids in vans. They were present to discuss a controversial bill banning “obscene books.”
Before the Tennessee legislature committee, Rich said: “What’s the difference between a teacher, educator, or librarian putting one of these books…on the desk of a student or a guy in a white van pulling up at the edge of school when school lets out and saying come on around kids let me read you this book and show you these pictures. What’s the difference in those two scenarios. There is a difference by the way. They can run away from the guy in the white van.”
Rich, 48, spoke to them as a dad. Several attendees were also agreeing with him as they could be seen nodding.
After speaking in front of the legislature, Rich reflected on his reasons for thinking it’s important to have a voice. He took to Twitter share his thoughts.
He tweeted: “Testifying at the Tennessee House of Reps legislative committee today was quite a deal. Some supported, some dissented, but Going toe to toe with adversaries is necessary in these times. We must bring the fight to them. We The People are the firewall between tyranny and freedom”
However, many people are wondering if as a dad he also thinks his own music is appropriate for children, considering some of its content. Social media users were quick to point out that Rich’s song lyrics can be quite obscene. For example, take the lyrics to his song “Save a Horse, Ride a Cowboy.”
One person said: “…so does this mean you are going to have ALL copies of your song “Save a Horse Ride a Cowboy” & all copies of the video destroyed. Because it is pretty sexually explicit if you ask this teacher & I think it may be grooming children. I’ll wait.”
Another person wrote: “Ummm…John. Just skimming through some lyrics. Not sure you’ve read them lately. I think you’ve done FAR more grooming than any teacher has.”
And this person added: “His song lyrics are more disturbing than the books they want to ban…”
After a school district in Tennessee banned a book about the Holocaust, Scott Cepicky, a Republican state Representative introduced a bill that would ban all “obscene books” from public and charter schools. If obscene materials that could be harmful to minors are found on school property, the local education agency, public school, employee or private contractor of a public charter school would be breaking the law.
Unfortunately, there was no clear rule to decide what constitutes as “obscene.”
What are your thoughts on the proposed ban of these books? Do you think Rich is being hypocritical in his stance on this issue?