Duval County School Board blew it last night: Their bias showed up big time

Concerned parents showed up at the Duval County School Board last night to discuss the book, Identical, with the members. This book has been found in eight high schools in Duval County. The book, Identical, is replete with graphic incest, sexual violence and drug use.

Two women stood up and read parts of the book out loud and were allowed to do so. And then a gentleman, Joey Marmo, also stood for his two minutes to give his take on the book. Before he could finish, the school board cut his mic and escorted him out of the building.

Here is the essence of those minutes:

Sherry Goddard read parts of the book and the content warning in the book that stated:

“You are about to access material that may contain content of an adult nature.”

As Ms. Goddard stated, “Last time I checked, kids in schools are not adults so why do we have them in our libraries?”

Up next was Lori Crunden. She read parts of the book where Daddy coerced his 9 year old daughter into having sex with him with very pornographic and sexual language.

Ms. Crunden asked the board who is vetting these books?

Then came Mr. Marmo and he encouraged and thanked the School Board for the good things they were doing. He too started reading the book contents and the board went crazy. His mic was cut and the school police escorted him from the building.

He was told by Ray Poole, the board’s General Counsel, that he did not have a First Amendment right to say whatever he wanted to say. Mr. Poole is the one who had Mr. Marmo removed. He even stated to Mr. Marmo as he was escorted out of the building… “We aren’t on a sidewalk outside Jacksonville Beach.” How rude and out of line was that statement?

The board then said they have a policy about vulgar language. How ironic! You can’t go to a board meeting and read a book that is in the high school filled with vulgar language but the kids can check it out and read it for themselves.

This was a fiasco of a board meeting and clearly showed their bias. If they have “decorum” why didn’t Mr. Poole have the two women speakers escorted from the podium when they read from the same book? Why did he and the board use bully tactics on a white man who did exactly the same thing the two women speakers did?

This is the question of the day.

This was embarrassing to watch and Eye hopes justice will be served on the board. We reached out to Mr. Marmo and he told us he is still in shock and disbelief. He didn’t want to say more at this time as he explores his options.

We hope Mr. Marmo will choose to have his day in court!! That seems to be the only thing these board members and out of control attorneys seem to understand.

Then share your comments and let us know what you think.

Billie Tucker Volpe

Billie Tucker Volpe Founder of Eye on Jacksonville and Leadership Consultant to CEOs/Executives.


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