The Clay County School district outside of Jacksonville, Florida has pulled a book from the beloved children's series Arthur by Marc Brown from its schools while the district decides whether or not to ban it. Because in MAGAland, reading Arthur's Birthday, a story about the bespectacled aardvark's birthday party that falls on the same day as his friend's — and which references the old-timey teen game Spin the Bottle — will lead to "damaged souls," according to the frightened parent who filed a complaint.
"PROTECT CHILDREN!! IT IS NOT APPROPRIATE TO DISCUSS 'SPIN THE BOTTLE' WITH ELEMENTARY SCHOOL CHILDREN. THIS BOOK IS FOUND IN ALL/ALMOST ALL [DISTRICT SCHOOLS]!" said Florida man Bruce Friedman in all caps on the form.
"SPIN THE BOTTLE" is "NOT OKAY FOR K-5 KIDS!" he added. (See images of his complaint below, obtained from Clay County School District by the Daily Beast.)
This isn't Friedman's first complaint about a book that is threatening to possess his child — in fact, the crazed conservative has lodged at least seven others, and is concerned with over 3,600 books. From Daily Beast:
Friedman is the president of Florida's chapter of No Left Turn in Education, a group known for fear-mongering the teachings of Critical Race Theory. According to the group's website, its goal is to "use all forms of media to expose the radical indoctrination in K-12 education."
At a Florida Department of Education meeting in December, Friedman bragged about creating a list of over 3,600 books that he felt contained "concerning content," Popular Information reported. In June 2022, Friedman's mic was cut off when he attempted to read a rape scene aloud during a school board meeting.
Friedman declined an interview request with The Daily Beast on Thursday. "No thank you," he wrote in an email. …
Reagan Miller, a member of Florida Freedom to Read Project, said she believes book banners are just trying to create "chaos in the education system" and make a boogeyman out of diversity, equity, and inclusion.
"I think it's more to keep feeding a narrative," she told The Daily Beast, suggesting that even Barney & Friends could be the next target.
For now, the soul-sucking Arthur book is off the table for youngsters in Clay County, "Pending Oversight Committee Review."