Vermont lite-guv launches ‘Banned Book’ Story Hour

Will he wear drag?

By Rob Roper

If you’re looking for something to do this summer, Vermont’s Lieutenant Governor, David Zuckerman, is embarking on what he’s calling a “Banned Books Are Books Worth Reading” tour, which appears to be his own weirdly conceived political version of a drag queen story hour. What costumes he’s decided to wear at these events is unknown to this author. Hopefully something tasteful.

Lt. Governor David Zuckerman

If you saw the press release’s headline and hoped that our formerly pony-tailed LTG was going to be reading passages of Huckleberry Finn, To Kill a Mockingbird, and the original, politically incorrect text from such classics as Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and James and the Giant Peach, you’re likely to be disappointed. The tour announcement states:
Around the country, we have seen the proliferation of book challenges and bans by school districts and local governments. These bans often target books that feature LGBTQ+ characters; talk about gender and sexuality; highlight racial disparities; or talk about difficult issues such as substance abuse and cases of police violence.

So, prepare to be “woked.”

Let’s first discuss the concept of “banning books” in schools. Do you know how many books have been published throughout history? Neither do I, but it’s a number somewhat larger than what a K-12 student can read over the course of a 180-day school year. Books really aren’t “banned” by schools, it’s a question of making priority decisions about which dozen or so out of the many millions (billions?) are going to be read and discussed as part of the curriculum. Both sides of these arguments are too often hyperbolic in their use of the word “banned.”

In my humble opinion, if a book wouldn’t make it past a parental control content blocker on an internet or streaming account, it probably doesn’t belong in a classroom or school library. That’s not banning, it’s making a decision about what’s appropriate for children of a certain age.

We can – and should – debate the merits and disadvantages of choosing which texts are taught, and at what ages they are or aren’t appropriate. Personally, I think that if discussion of a book involves conversations that would get a boss fired for creating a sexually hostile work environment if they engaged in such talk with an employee, it’s not appropriate for a teacher to be going down such a path with students.

Vermont’s legal guidelines for what constitutes sexual harassment include “verbal… conduct of a sexual nature… [that] has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s work performance or creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive working environment.” The guidelines also state, “Any person of any gender can experience unlawful sexual harassment, even someone who is not the target of harassing behavior.” Ergo, if any student – say a kid whose values are of a standard Judeo-Christian nature – is made to feel intimidated or finds the material hostile or offensive, it should not be considered appropriate for the classroom. Arguably, in such a case legal action against the school and the teacher would be warranted.

Zuckerman says, “These events will feature special guests who will join the Lt. Governor to discuss with the audience the importance of free speech, inclusion, democracy, and open dialogue…. Students, teachers, and curious minds should be able to access materials that spark critical thinking, cover difficult topics, and appeal to diverse interests without fear of government interference.”

Great! Who would disagree with that?

So, I’m sure Dave will be using these opportunities to denounce public schools’ and school boards’ (a.k.a. government’s) recent attempts to de-platform and silence (a.k.a. interfere with) parents’ and students’ recent attempts to hold public discussions about the dangers of things like “gender affirming care.” There are, after all, diverse interests involved with this difficult topic and, of course, all sides have the right to free speech and access to materials (such as lectures) that spark critical thinking. I’ll withhold judgment on the LTG without holding my breath.

If anyone feels like attending one of these no-doubt scintillating exhibitions, the upcoming schedule includes: Waterbury, Wednesday, July 12, 6:00 pm at Bridgeside Books, 29 Stowe St #1. Manchester, Wednesday, July 19, 5:00 pm, Northshire Bookstore, 4869 Main St. And Bellows Falls, Wednesday, August 2, 5:00 pm at Village Square Booksellers, 32 Square. Take video and send it to me. I’m sure it will be a hoot.

Rob Roper is a freelance writer with 20 years of experience in Vermont politics including three years service as chair of the Vermont Republican Party and nine years as President of the Ethan Allen Institute, Vermont’s free market think tank.

Categories: Commentary

15 replies »

  1. The lefts new definition of banned books are books like ‘Gender Queer’. Basically books that depict LBG+whatever sex in graphic novel form. Look up the book I mentioned. This is what the left wants to protect.

    They are perverted.

    • Alex, Gender Queer was on the National Education Association’s list of “Great Summer Reads for Educators.” Think about that.

  2. If this woke agenda is all he has on his plate to do, while the state goes bankrupt, then he doesn’t need to be in office!

  3. Does Lt Gov Ponytail believe that Hustler magazine should be on the subscription list at public schools, or is there a line to be drawn SOMEWHERE? I think we all are in agreement or should be that some printed matter is inappropriate for youngsters or at least is controversial enough that it should not be provided at taxpayer expense. I would personally argue that a pervert instruction manual like “Gender Queer” fits that category. As Mr. Roper mentioned, if passages from the book read aloud in a workplace would be considered sexual harassment, then that is a good criteria for being deemed “inappropriate” in a school setting. Also, thanks Rob for the list of bookstores that i will be putting on my “do not patronize” list.

  4. Faster than a man in drag competing in the 100 yd. dash, More powerful than your average liberal pinko, Able to suck down a fatty in a single toke, Look up on the top of the dome kissing Ceres,  It’s Ben ? It’s Jerry ? It’s Boinie, Na it’s just Zukerman….. (ya I know I misspelled his name)

  5. If Hustler were a LGBTQ+ rag then by all means it should be allowed in grade school libraries. (sarcasm)

  6. As soon as I read about this tour, I had to make a beeline to the July 5th version at a particularly odious bookstore in Brattleboro. There were about a dozen people in attendance, including one state Representative and a local librarian. The tone was conversational and polite. The only time it got a little heated was when I told the LTG to please stop interrupting me as I explained my rationale for reading from “The Real Anthony Fauci”, by RFK Jr, (which that store refused to carry or even special order) as a “banned book”.

    Readings from “banned books” included passages from “The Invisible Man”, “Beloved” and two childrens’ books, one of which was about an adoption of a live egg by a pair of male penguins, and the other about all kinds of babies. Sorry, I’ve forgotten the titles – not my line of country.

    To the extent that those works have been “banned”, I would concede the point that that is unfortunate, though of course I can see how many here will see the reason parents objected to the penguin book.

    So, they seem to want to frame the argument that parental concerns informing debates and school board elections are driven by rabid racism, intolerance, and of course, white supremacy.

    My humble suggestion is to read from recently banned books including “Lawn Boy”, “Gender Queer”, and other notorious works; the ones that have been brought up in school board meetings in other states, and are quite reasonably argued to be pornographic, AT BEST. Be respectful, be polite. We are not rabid; we are reasonable. (We know where the rabidity REALLY lies…) The passages and graphics from those books scream loudly enough.

    My own interpretation of events is that the LTG, knowingly or not, is running interference, preemptively blocking resistance to the business plan (he/they object to the word “agenda”) of the state’s powerful medical industrial complex of turning Vermont into a destination for human chop shop, aka “gender reassignment”, tourism. My understanding is that the industry puts the average total cost, between surgeries, pharmaceuticals, and cognitive therapies, at $7.2 million per patient. Any business drives revenues by expanding its market(s) and increasing its share of that market. How might the number of patients seeking “gender reassignment” protocols be increased, one naively asks…

    This is a smart crowd; do the math and know where the money will come from, and draw your own conclusions.

    I don’t know about you, but I think it’s important to let them know that WE KNOW.

    • They know we know and they don’t care as they carry on with their crimes against humanity with impunity. Signs of an occupied region by a belligerent, stonecold, installed regime. They are protecting and fighting to block the Truth from coming out – the Truth being who the head of the snakes running this entire operation is – how they get their funding – who are all involved. Epstein’s client list still hidden? Sound of Freedom being blocked and mocked? The Nashville shooter manifesto still hidden? Make no mistake how dangerous and nefarious these people really are – they will stop at nothing.

  7. Vermont is being run by freaks from out of state supported by money from out of state. This is the guy who hands out dirty carrots (from his trustfunder farm) to children along the parade route when running for office. What a guy for the children and in your face to the parents who want to protect their children from the groomers in education and our government. All of this debauchery is from people who want to sexualize children and it’s disgusting. Voting for these people makes you one of them. You are all sick in the head if you think this is okay.

  8. I understand Health being taught in public schools, similar to basic biology. The question is, why the unnecessary emphasis on sex and sexuality. That should rightfully be the purview of parents, not schools. Schools should be focused on reading, writing, math, history, and science.

    I would love to see someone ask the LTG why he is touring Vermont to discuss “banned books” when Vermont’s proficiency test scores are in the 30-40% range. Isn’t that like a teacher more focused on the color of the chalk than on the material on the black board?

    • Pathetic test scores and proficiency are excellent points to bring up with ANYONE who advocates for spending precious (and expensive) school time on teaching fringe sexuality.

  9. I was hoping he would read from one of these:
    -The Ruling Elite: The Zionist Seizure of World Power
    -A History of Central Banking and the Enslavement of Mankind

    then maybe explain why he serves those masters?

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