Ketchikan resident Deborah Simon has filed a formal complaint with the Alaska Attorney General’s Office against the City of Ketchikan, the Ketchikan Public Library, the Ketchikan Gateway Borough School District and the Ketchikan Gateway Borough School Board for what she says is the “deliberate retaliatory actions of their employees and elected representatives” in response to her challenging the suitability of highly sexualized library books that are targeted to minors.

Last May, Simon who serves on the Ketchikan Library Advisory Board has unsuccessfully tried to have several books relocated from the youth sections of both the city and high school libraries. The books in question include “Red Hood” and “Flamer,” titles that contain highly graphic accounts of sexual encounters, menstruation, homosexuality, profanity, self-harm and derogatory references to religious groups.

Last May, Simon formally appealed to the public library and high school library to reconsider the suitability of the books in question.

Since then, she alleges that government officials – both elected and appointed – have retaliated against her and other residents who are concerned about sexualized books being given to children.

Additionally, Simon claims the school board “deliberately released the personal identifiable information I was required to include with those challenges,” action which she says, “is a direct threat to my family’s safety.”

Most recently, Simon says a group of local librarians, from the school district, borough and university, put on a public performance at the Ketchikan Wearable Arts Show which she alleges was “meant as retaliation against residents who have recently challenged youth titles and to all those who speak out in support of those challenges.”

During the Wearable Arts Show (Feb. 2-3), a group of librarians performed a piece entitled, “Polite Te Bastardes Carborundorum,” a phrase that means, “Don’t Let the Bastards Grind You Down.” Six local librarians, wearing long red gowns and Puritan head dresses, dressed in “The Handmaid’s Tale,” gowns that symbolize female fertility. The women put red tape over their mouths as they solemnly walked across a catwalk, defiantly threw back their gowns and revealed their varied undergarments, consisting of a gaudy corset, native regalia, a long night gown, a “freedom” dress and knee-high leather boots. Their costumes included signs emblazed with statements such as, “Read” and “Bans Off.”

During the performance, Simon notes that one librarian “plastered pages of ‘Flamer’ all over her costume for the performance, pointedly flinging her outer cloak into the audience in her haste to reveal these pages.

Flamer is a highly sexualized book located in the Ketchikan High School Library, and one of the title Simon challenged using the school district’s official policy beginning September 28, 2023.

Simon said the performance intentionally “hurls insulting and abusive vulgarity at anyone who has or might avail themselves of this valid and statutory [library book] reconsideration process.”

Furthermore, Simon’s complaint alleges that local “public employees and elected representatives were actively working to undermine the established Reconsideration process while they were supposedly evaluating citizen Requests.”

In challenging books, Simon claims the Ketchikan officials have unjustly accused her of “violating the United States Constitution, wasting library and city resources, racially profiling, and chipping away at parental rights by citizens, library employees, and fellow Library Advisory Board members.”

Simon also claims that the school district changed its book challenge policy while her challenges were still in process, “radically restricting and negating its effect.”

Additionally, Simon claims the school board “deliberately released the personal identifiable information I was required to include with those challenges,” action which she says, “is a direct threat to my family’s safety.”

“These retaliatory, unethical, reckless, and dangerous actions by city and school district employees and elected representatives are just the sort of repercussions others referred to when they told me that, while they supported my challenges, they would not be speaking out in public,” Simon wrote in her complaint. “These individuals and the public entities they represent have undermined and violated public trust; subverted policies, procedures, and statutes; and planned, supported, and/or participated in retaliatory actions. In doing so, they have, among other things, openly disregarded and endangered the safety of me and my family. I have repeatedly voiced my concerns and complaints to local authorities as a borough resident and attempted to improve library policies and procedures as an appointed Library Advisory Board member. At every turn I have been dismissed, contradicted, accused, shut down, and now retaliated against. I am, therefore, submitting this formal complaint.”

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Ketchikan woman alleges local officials retaliated against her for challenging 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.


  • Joel says:

    The victim mentality here is beyond disbelief. This is how you know people like Deborah don’t have real problems.

    • Tamra Nygaard says:

      You seem nice. So, let me get this straight, you are in favor of exposing children to porn. So, that would make you….

      • Clark says:

        There is no porn in any of these books.

        A 2 page depiction of sexual activity in a 320+ page book is not pornography.

        The OP literally complains that some of the books mention menstruation. As if thats not important educational information for adolescent girls. It actually is a fact that this woman is trying to violate the Constitution by removing the books. She is attempting to stomp all over the student’s Freedom of Speech. That is straight from Supreme Court precedent. Now you could try to complain that the material is obscene. But you would lose. Because the books consist of many award-winning, popular best sellers. Or they are clearly educational like ‘Lets talk about it’. The books have all been vetted by qualified librarians following specific rules. And the books are available in multiple libraries all over the country. They are sold all over the market to the proper age groups. And our own little library council that the Mayor made explicitly to try and ban books. Is divided on their votes on most of the books. 5-4 votes is simple proof that the books arent obscene. Because that means you can’t claim any reasonable person would object to it. To make that claim you would have to say the council members were unreasonable, which would invalidate the quorum, lol. Tamra, who hurt you to make you hate lgbt people and educational books so much?

      • Joel says:

        Just cause you call any book containing a trans or gay person porn doesn’t make it so. May as well ban the bible while we’re at it considering the rampant incest and rape contained in it.

    • Tamra Nygaard says:

      Oh Joel, Clark, you are very simple, aren’t you? Children don’t need to see sex, period. They are not adults, they do not have freedom of speech, they do not have freedom of anything their parents prefer that they do not have. Please see all the legal precedence through 200 years or so of jurisprudence. Just because you feel that children should be recruited into your homosexual lifestyle does not mean that the rest of us have to agree with abuse of our children. Nobody is banning any book and if you really need your kid to view porn, by all means buy it for them, but you know as well as anyone that once seen, it cannot be unseen. Nobody hates homosexuals, we would just prefer they keep their perversion to themselves, rather than demand that the rest of us cheer you on. Love means wanting the highest and best for the other, and the lust that is slaked by homosexual behavior doesn’t rise to the level. You can call a duck a frog, but it doesn’t make it so, and nobody is going to cheer the duck on for behaving like a frog. Get over yourself and admit that it is not those who defend the innocence of children that have issues here, it is you.

      • Doug says:

        Actually, your kids do have freedom of speech. There is no age limit listed on the Constitution. The Supreme Court has ruled many times that children have inalienable rights just like you do.

  • Kathy says:

    Participating in a community’s wearable art show, as a private citizen, is a freedom of speech and freedom of expression. If Ms. Simon took it as a personal affront, that is her issue. No where have I seen it reported – including this site – that the wearable art show participants participated in their professional capacity as library workers. People are allowed to have personal opinions and participate in community events. I would even go so far as to say, as Americans, those are our rights.

    • Friend of Humanity says:

      Yep, that is the way the demons play – keep it within the lines so it’s legal. But, is it respectable or considerate of others? Usually not. That is the difference between people who are Christ-like and those that are not. God Almighty’s protection and blessings are asked for Deborah Simon and her family.

      • Kathy says:

        Ms. Simon’s isn’t asking Christ to make a ruling – she’s asking the Attorney General to silence opposition to her point of view. That is neither considerate or respectful of others.

      • Friend of Humanity says:

        “she’s asking the Attorney General to silence opposition to her point of view. ” When it goes against Satan’s wishes, it must be silenced. You spoke a truth here! I don’t know where you grew up, but shutting down other people’s rights to voice their opinions is most certainly disrespectful and inconsiderate.

  • SA says:

    Deborah Simon probably has good intentions, but she fails on her understanding of the first amendment to the US constitution that guarantees freedom of speech. The performers were in no way acting as officials, but only performing as private citizens, as is totally within their rights. The books Simon is upset about–Flamer and Red Hood–do not meet the legal definition of obscenity, and therefore should not be banned from library shelves. Menstruation and negative references to religious organizations are not subject to obscenity laws, and therefore Simon’s complaints about these topics are not at all relevant.

  • Elizabeth Henry says:

    Deborah needs to stay the course and not be distracted. The offensiveness is legal and the offenders are indeed allowed to express their opinions irregardless of how misguided.

  • V says:

    The article sort of fell short and veered off into making a different point. Let me try to clarify here.
    Many families, including our own, have been subjected to unsafe situations – even life threatening situations- because we chose to speak against certain rubbish books being pushed by our local libraries. For some families that had resulted in having to MOVE, which is pretty unfortunate for anyone who wasn’t planning on moving to begin with. Having to worry about the safety of your child’s innocence at the library due to the pornographic books is one thing- having to worry about the physical safety of your children from retaliation from “adults in charge” in these settings is another. Many of our local cities have made the rhetoric unsafe for any conservative family who opposes their garbage. Instead of arguing about the semantics of that we need to ask ourselves why?! Why is it acceptable for one type of individual to request sexually explicit books and it is not ok for another type of person to point out how this is against the law for a reason? Why is it ok to be silencing nice, honest, respectful families with fear and intimidation tactics? There is more to be said here about this particular issue.

    • Kathy says:

      Perhaps the point here is that people don’t like when other people attempt to use the government to force individual opinions, values and morals upon all. Parents have a right to parent and decide for their own children. Deborah has no business deciding what my kid should be able to read, any more than its my business to tell her kids what to read. My tax dollars pay for all kinds of books that I don’t agree with, but that doesn’t mean I’m going to try to get them removed from the library because I don’t agree with them. And if the meetings in Ketchikan have been anything like tge meetings in Palmer & Wasilla, I imagine that the Ketchikan librarians are tired of being called groomers and pedophiles in public meetings, in interactions with Library users, and on social media. None of those things are Christian or kind, either. The Library staff didn’t direct their wearable art show to Deborah, but to the banning of books. It wasn’t a personal attack. It wasn’t an individual attack. It’s no different than protesters holding up signs outside of Planned Parenthood.

      • Friend of Humanity says:

        This is where I see that your entire speech is worthless Kathy – you just stated that there is an attempt to ban books. Just amazing that you trolls keep using that terminology and giving away who you really bend your knee to. The Creator of All Creation expects every adult to guide the children and raise them up according to the Creator’s Word. I see a lot of people defending their God-given right to obey what our Creator commands of us. Our Heavenly Father loves you and it is not too late for you to get to know your loving Creator also.

      • Kathy says:

        Respectfully, Friend of Humanity, what word should be used to describe the process of having books removed from a public library that is there to serve the entire community? I am trolling, I am trying to have a respectful and courteous discussion with others regarding points of view that I don’t fully understand. I am sorry if my attempt fell short of that goal.

      • Kathy says:

        I am _not_ trolling. Please excuse my error.

  • Mongo says:

    Groomers lack ethics and morals? Who would a thunk it?

  • DaveMaxwell says:

    This is another opportunity for those of you who declare that Deborah is in the right protecting children to get behind her courageous move and make your own statements to the attorney general! Unfortunately the pattern we have gotten used to following has been identified by the enemy and has emboldened them! Matt Walsh has also identified our actions and wrote a book about it called the “Church of Cowards “!

  • Colorado Conservative says:

    THANK YOU Deborah Simon for all you are doing to expose the absolute moral degeneracy of the left. Please know there are many of us across America who support your speaking out. As usual the left will demonize and attempt to destroy anyone who dares to counter their destructive ideology and intentional sexual grooming of innocent children. The founder of Libs of TikTok knows this well. Sending prayers your way for God’s protection and strength as you fight to shed the light of truth on evil.

  • Jill C Shimko says:

    question: Where are the pastors and congregations? Are they not a voice in Ketchikan? Are you, each of you not called to unite against evil – help and support those who speak out against this indoctrination aimed at our children?

  • The god of the north says:

    No WHO could be behind this? I wonder?

    • Friend of Humanity says:

      Putting the title of the video or describing it makes the link more meaningful.
      ‘EU Legalizes Child Porn As WEF Agenda To Normalize Pedophilia Accelerates’

  • Friend of Humanity says:

    Laura Aboli talking about the take down of humanity