Book-reading pastor, now known to liberal school boards, experiences new tactic in blue Boise

Book-reading pastor, now known to liberal school boards, experiences new tactic in blue Boise

John Amanchukwu Sr.

Book-reading pastor, now known to liberal school boards, experiences new tactic in blue Boise

John Amanchukwu Sr. has become acquainted with many public school boards, which have now become acquainted with his purpose and his methods, and that means sparks are flying more often to stop his eye-opening work.

Amanchukwu, an associate church pastor from Raleigh, North Carolina, sort of stumbled into a new ministry that uses a school board podium instead of a pulpit. Using the public speaking time at school board meetings, he reads from the sexually explicit books that are available to students on the school library shelves with the blessing of adults. 

And it usually doesn't go well.

When the church pastor starts quoting the foul language and sexual descriptions, which are heard by all in the room, school leaders quickly grow uncomfortable when someone is pointing out the pornographic books their own students can check out in the library. 

That is the point, of course, and Amanchukwu has become a leader in the parental rights movement.

At the invitation of frustrated parents, he now travels the country confronting liberal public school districts with help from Turning Point Faith, a division of Turning Point USA. 

Recently, when Amanchukwu visited blue-city Boise in red-state Idaho, the liberal Boise School District Board of Trustees seemed ready for him at the Nov. 13 public meeting. When he began reading from the book "Melissa," a children's book about changing genders, he was immediately shut down by Dave Wagers, the school board president.

"Enclosure 22 is what you can testify on," says Wagers, referring to an item on the board's meeting agenda that is labeled "Student Curriculum Requirements."

"This is based upon materials that are in the school system," Amanchukwu replies. 

"No, this is not what we're talking about," Wages insists. "Our testimony is only on this agenda item." 

"And books don't pertain to curriculum?" Amanchukwu, sounded a bit surprised, asks. 

"That is not in our curriculum," Wagers counters. "That is part of our library." 

Amanchukwu attempts to keep speaking but is cut off by Wagers, who cuts off his mike and then tells him to leave the podium. 

Telling that story this week on American Family Radio , Amanchukwu said he was warned what to expect. Before the meeting began, he was informed by a police officer the school board knew who he is and why he was there. 

“He tells me, ‘We're normally not here but we received notification that you were coming to speak at the school board meeting here, and we've been told that if you get off subject that they're going to try to get you back on topic. And if you don't listen, then we're going to walk you out of the school board meeting and off the premises,’” he recalled. “I had never encountered this before.”

The main character in the book he attempted to read from “expresses disappointment about his genitals while taking a bath," the church pastor advised, "and suggests that if a child is confused about their gender then perhaps something is wrong with them, and they need to change it.”

The book is marketed to children in grades 3-7, he says. 

As Amanchukwu and the board president addressed each other, parents in the crowd called out “Let him speak!” and “Censorship!”

Much of the back-and-forth between Amanchukwu and the board president occurred after Amanchukwu’s mic had been silenced. Eventually he was approached by a plain clothes officer and told he would be charged with trespassing if he did not leave peacefully. Just like the police officer warned, he was escorted out of the building. 

Parents were upset at how the school board handled his visit, he told show host Jenna Ellis.

“They were angry. They were very upset," he says of supporters in the crowd.

As for Wagers and the rest of the school board members,  Amanchukwu said they infringed on his First Amendment right to free speech and acted like tryants.   

Before visiting Boise in mid-November, he had not been threatened with removal before speaking.

"They’re starting to find creative ways to shut me down," he says.