Adrienne Quinn Martin is what Sarah Palin would call a “mama grizzly.” And a group of Bible-beating far-right activists found out exactly what that means when Martin took the podium at a local school board meeting.
The Granbury, Texas school district has repeatedly caved to the far-right’s demands, yanking books with LGBTQ content from library shelves and ordering librarians to review over 130 books for “questionable content.” Things have become so heated and awful that the gay son of one of the book banners spoke out to condemn her actions; she doesn’t have any children currently enrolled in the district.
Superintendent Jeremy Glenn has previously emphasized to the district’s librarians that their community was “very, very conservative” and that any school employee who does not possess conservative beliefs “better hide it.” While he started by saying he didn’t care if the books were about homosexuality or heterosexuality, he spoke explicitly about banning books with LGBTQ content.
“And I’m going to take it a step further with you. There are two genders. There’s male, and there’s female. And I acknowledge that there are men that think they’re women. And there are women that think they’re men. And again, I don’t have any issues with what people want to believe, but there’s no place for it in our libraries.”
Later in the conversation, he made his intent even more explicit.
“It’s the transgender, LGBTQ and the sex — sexuality — in books. That’s what the governor has said that he will prosecute people for, and that’s what we’re pulling out.”
The school then spent two weeks reviewing 130 books, three of which were permanently banned, including This Book Is Gay – a guide for LGBTQ teens – and We Are the Ants, a story about a gay teenager.
But this, Glenn said at the meeting, would only be the beginning. The board has also granted school administrators the power to remove books from shelves without any review process if they decide they are not appropriate for students.
So when Martin took the podium, she was loaded and ready to defend the children who have been being attacked by outsiders.
“We know that books are continuing to be purged. We know student library aides have been banned. We know that a group of non-parents have pushed for these removals and continue to do so,” she began. “So, being a taxpayer does not grant special privileges over students, staff, and parents. I do not want random people with no education background or experience determining what books my child can read, what curriculum they learn, and what clubs they can join.”
“Just because you can get up at every meeting and rant and rave does not give you authority over my child’s education.”
“Your personal religious beliefs, people in this room and on this board, should not have an effect on my child’s education either. Our school are not to be used for personal political agendas and our children are here for education, not religious indoctrination,” she told the room as she looked various board members and attendees directly in the eye.
“I implore the board to put an end to attempts to appease these extremists. Focus on retaining staff, providing excellent public education and a safe and welcoming learning space for all students. The speakers speaking about what great Christians they are? Great. Go tell your pastor. Our schools are not your church.”
And as the room erupted in applause for her bold speech, Martin gathered up her papers and, with a nod, left the podium. The superintendent did not reply.
Me speaking at the Granbury ISD school board meeting tonight . Granbury ISD is continuing to purge books. The folks that show up at every meeting demanding books be removed , not a single one is a GISD parent. Yet , the school board seems to be giving them everything they want . pic.twitter.com/CUqCacoqYI
— Adrienne Quinn Martin (@MrsAMartini) August 23, 2022
What she’s referring to as “the progressives” that were let in the door , is a purely student lead Gay Straight Alliance Club. She’s upset that they have been allowed to have their club.
— Adrienne Quinn Martin (@MrsAMartini) August 25, 2022