On Sept. 14, the Mat-Su School District’s newly-formed Library Citizens’ Advisory Committee will meet to discuss whether several books circulating through school libraries are in violation of Alaska law, which prohibits the dissemination of pornographic or indecent material to minors.

The 11- member board consists of seven community members and four school district employees. Last month, the group held its first meeting to organize and go over ground rules.

Formed earlier this year by the school board, the library committees main task is to review books that have been challenged by parents and others in the community. After carefully reading and discussing the books, the board is tasked with making a recommendation to the school board as to whether the titles should be removed or retained in school libraries.

The library committee’s job is to suspend partisan or political ideology, and judge the books solely on whether they violate Alaska law with regard to being pornographic and indecent.

According to Alaska law, it is a class C felony to distribute indecent material to minors. Violation of this law can result in up to five years in prison and a $50,000 fine. Unlike in some other states, there are no exceptions for school librarians or teachers who might disseminate indecent library books to children.

So far, there are 56 challenged books for the library committee members to review. For the Sept. 14 meeting they will discuss three books, “Drama,” by Raina Telgemeier, “The Lovely Bones,” by Alice Sebold, and “It’s Perfectly Normal,” by Robie Harris. They may also review “The Bluest Eye,” by Toni Morrison.

Drama” is a graphic novel that highlights gay sexuality among teenagers, but without explicit sexual scenes. “The Lovely Bones,” includes highly graphic and detailed scenes of teen rape. “It’s Perfectly Normal,” is a teen sex guide that includes graphic illustrations of sexual intercourse and masturbation, while instructing teens about abortion options and contraceptive methods that cause early abortions. “The Bluest Eye,” depicts graphic sex scenes, masturbation and child rape.

While some challenged books may include controversial ideas, the library committee’s job is to suspend partisan or political ideology, and judge the books solely on whether they violate Alaska law with regard to being pornographic and indecent.

The committee is also expected to read each book in its entirety and to discuss them as a whole.

The library committee meets on the second Thursday of each month, throughout the school year. The Sept. 14 meeting will be at the Mat-Su School District’s administration building (501 North Gulkana Street) in Palmer, from 5-7 p.m. Members of the public can attend, but there will be no open testimony during the meeting.

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Citizens’ committee set to examine 1st round of controversial Mat-Su school library books

Joel Davidson
Joel is Editor-in-Chief of the Alaska Watchman. Joel is an award winning journalist and has been reporting for over 24 years, He is a proud father of 8 children, and lives in Palmer, Alaska.


  • DaveMaxwell says:

    Ewe better get it right!

  • Lyndy Sue says:

    This isn’t actually a citizens’ committee, it’s mostly people handpicked by hateful school board members who are somehow afraid of sex and who think they know better than anyone else. They are representing their own views, not the views of the general public. They run on giving parents choice when in.reality they are taking it away. They don’t care what parents think, as evidenced by the proposed policy to limit public participation.

    • DoneWithIt says:

      Ya’ know Lyndy, wouldn’t it be a good idea to teach the children the three R’s – before we teach them about masturbation and anal sex?
      Our test scores are abysmal, to say the least.

    • Friend of Humanity says:

      Lyndy is saying the exact opposite of what is actually true. A true lefty minion.

      • M says:

        Lyndy is right. Any parents who attempted to offer a supportive role when the district asked were denied that ability. Most of us still have the documents to prove as much. Either you read her commentary wrong or she didn’t effectively communicate. Either way: conservative values are on the chopping block. The district hand picked this “committee” and they have motivations that do not offer an ideal outcome for the children. I can almost guarantee that the group collected for this very important and specific purpose are using it to drain taxpayer funds and cool the steam from the public on this topic. They are waving something sparkly and loud to appease the people and distract them from what is really going on. They should have entitled the committee the Book Club of Liberals Moving In On the Valley, because there was nothing left to ruin in Anchorage and Eagle River.

      • Friend of Humanity says:

        M, “Either you read her commentary wrong or she didn’t effectively communicate.” Apparently, you misread what she wrote also. That school board represented the majority of people – the general public, and made decisions that the general public felt were best for the children. That school board is the best in the state and the best in the country. Feel free at anytime to join God Almighty’s winning team…it’s never too late!

    • Becky says:

      Lyndy, you are 100% correct.

      There is absolutely nothing wrong with these books from an educational and literary perspective. There is probably nothing wrong with a single book on their list. The Lovely Bones spawned an award winning movie. And yeah, it was about a child that was abducted and raped and killed. It was gruesome in the movie. But then again it was a movie about how the ghost of the dead child eventually exposed her killer. The subject matter of the book was partially based on a real event that happened, but the story is a fiction, based on the authors own experience of being raped as a child.

      To violate the indecency/porn law, a book has to depict actual persons who are underage. Fictional characters are not included. Books that have clear literary, historical, political or educational value are also excluded from the law. I can guarantee you every single one of these books passes that test, because it is literally the bar that is used BY FEDERAL LAW to test every single book on before they ever get on the shelves. Every one of these books might have SOMETHING you find offensive, but thats not the test for the law. The ENTIRE work must be considered as a whole. An clearly educational book about sex for teens is exactly that, educational, and thus automatically exempt from the porn law. Doesn’t matter if you are offended by masturbation, or anal sex, or the ‘sweet treats’ of sending sexts to your SO. It doesn’t matter if you personally disagree with the existence of gay or trans people. You already 100% have the right to keep your own children from reading them and you have the right not to read it yourself. Stop pretending you want to protect parents rights when your real goal is exactly the opposite.

  • Proud Alaskan says:

    Please take your kids out of these sick, woke, evil schools

  • L says:

    This is not a committee of our community peers. This is a group of already paid district individuals and district chosen “professionals” who can tow the line- I have the email from the district that says as much, as do many other parents who attempted to be a part of this committee. This is a highly glorified liberal book club who, unfortunately, are steering the boat with all the children aboard. If you are conservative or care about what little remains of our freedoms and rights, take your valid comments and questions to the Governor and to the superintendent.

  • DaveMaxwell says:

    Where is Waldo,I mean dunleavy!?

  • Lucinda says:

    The next meeting of the Advisory Committee will be September 27 at 6:30 in the Cross Country Church.

  • V says:

    Friend of Humanity: L and Lyndy have valid points. The advisory committee was originally proposed as a group of citizens and parents from the community- unfortunately it took on a different sharpe, not even two months after it was proposed. Was one of those bait and switch kinds of efforts put forth by the school district. Research your facts before berating everyone on here. They are only attempting to help further educate those of the public who are not as tuned in as they perhaps are. It is a fact that the advisory committee is a sham and is made up of people the district hand selected, who are already on their payroll. No additional parents from all walks of life. Make a general inquiry from the district and then ask that they provide proof. I’d bet that there are more parents who can provide a variety of documents showcasing this. Also the committee meetings are closed to public input – doesn’t seem like a situation where the district is indeed being forthright or willing to hear the gripes of all. Full-fledged district (this tax payer) funded adult book club.

    • Friend of Humanity says:

      Pretty amazing that you guys decided to use just a letter to represent the person that you are – makes it easy to pick out the minions driving the lefty narrative.

  • DaveMaxwell says:

    Is dunleavy relevant?

  • Neil says:

    I have notfollowed this close enough BUT, it sound like The Lonely Bones and It’s Perfectly Normal should be thrown out. Now from reading the post here afterwards I’ll bet both will be kept on. Anyone want to take my bet?