Michigan Democrat Gov. Gretchen Whitmer refused to condemn the pervasion of sexually explicit material in taxpayer-funded public schools during a debate on Tuesday, as parents throughout the state continue to fight for greater oversight in education.
The moment came roughly halfway through the debate between Whitmer and GOP gubernatorial candidate Tudor Dixon, when both candidates were asked by one of the debate moderators how they would handle the issue of controversial materials in public school libraries. Dixon, who has made parental rights a major focus of her campaign, emphasized that what parents are concerned about is “sexual content” and “pornography” in schools and called out Whitmer for her continued silence on the issue.
“If you have material in your school that is something you can’t read to a child at a bus stop because you would be arrested, because it is pornographic, then it should not be in our classrooms,” Dixon said. “What these parents are talking about are not textbooks that will help children learn about themselves. These are books that are describing to children how to have sex, and parents are outraged about it across the state.”
Most recently, parents in Dearborn, Michigan, have been showing up en masse at their local school board meetings to protest the district’s purported pushing of sexually inappropriate content in school libraries. As The Federalist reported, one of the books in question “shows a diagram of a young boy that provides readers with a ‘rogue guide’ about which ‘parts FEEL NICE when you touch them.’”
In contrast, Whitmer stopped short of condemning the pushing of sexualized material in public schools, instead saying she “rejects the false choice” of either outright banning or keeping it in libraries.
“As a public-school parent, I know that we have rights to understand the curriculum, the materials, to opt our children out if we think that it doesn’t keep in line with our desires,” Whitmer said. “We also have a duty to make sure that all children feel accepted and safe and can learn and play when they are in school.”
When given the chance to offer a rebuttal to Dixon, who slammed the Democrat governor for refusing to “stand with parents,” Whitmer bizarrely attempted to change the conversation to gun control.
“Do you really think books are more dangerous than guns?” Whitmer asked. “Do you really think that books pose a greater danger to our kids than gun violence does? Mrs. Dixon is trying to distract us.”
Whitmer’s refusal to condemn sexually explicit materials in Michigan schools is unsurprising given that her Department of Education was busted last month for actively encouraging educators to facilitate the sexual transition of schoolchildren behind their parents’ backs. In a series of unearthed slideshows and videos, officials recruited by Michigan’s Education Department are shown instructing teachers on elements of radical gender theory and how to conceal children’s proclaimed “sexual identity” and “pronouns” from their parents.
During the debate, Whitmer also expressed support for Proposal 3, the initiative set to appear on the ballot this fall that seeks to codify unlimited abortion and medical transgender interventions into Michigan’s constitution. Given the plain language of the amendment, minors would be able to obtain abortions and sterilizing drugs and surgeries without parental consent.