In an interview with AFN, Attorney General Jeff Landry says his office has launched the “Protecting Minors” tip line. It allows the public to submit a first-hand account of how “taxpayer-subsidized sexualization of children” has impacted them. It also asks for the names of officials, including library staff and school staff, who are responsible.
“Anyone who does a cursory review of these books,” Landry tells AFN, “can realize that they don't belong on the shelf next to Dr. Seuss.”
AFN has reported on such graphic books, such as All Boys Aren’t Blue and the comic-book style memoir Gender Queer. Those books and others contain explicit adult content, similar to an erotic romance novel marketed to women, but All Boys and Gender Queer depict teens in sexual situations and are written for that young audience. Those sex scenes are so graphic that objecting parents who attempted to read aloud have been shut down by alarmed school boards that ironically cited the public audience and young ears.
The looming problem for disapproving parents, and for their allies such as Landry, is that libraries swoon over the books and dismiss critics as intolerant and bigoted.
Seemingly undeterred by any backlash, Landry says current Louisiana law exempts books used for educational purposes. That state statute is being reviewed right now, he advises.
“We're also trying to research,” Landry tells AFN, “how citizens of the state could go about ensuring that books that they find offensive would not end up in the hands of their children without their permission.”
As far as Landry’s example of Dr. Seuss, the publishing company of those famous books announced in 2021 it would stop publishing six books after some libraries condemned them for their racial stereotypes of Asians and blacks.