Here is an update on the situation with the formal book challenge that was filed with Las Cruces Public Schools (LCPS) about The Jack of Hearts and Other Parts book at Mayfield High School (MHS).
This book contains graphic sexual content, including passages about sexual acts between teachers and students, underage teens soliciting sex from adults, and many detailed passages about kids abusing drugs and alcohol and performing sex acts including bondage. You can view some of the content of the book here: www.nmfa.us/jack
In August, I and Juan Garcia (CCIA) filed a formal complaint against the sexually explicit, age-inappropriate book Jack of Hearts and Other Parts.
Per the district policy, the school board chose 4 teachers and 3 parents to serve on a Book Review Committee to assess whether the book should be freely available in the school library. The committee voted 6-to-1 against our book complaint, resulting in Superintendent Ruiz deciding to maintain the book in the school library.
As discussed in the last post, we now have evidence that the Book Review Committee members who were chosen by the school board were purposely “stacked” against our efforts. The committee members were not chosen in good faith as representatives of our community.
Nonetheless, the full school board was allowed to vote in the Appeal Hearing by Board President Teresa Tenorio.
Appeal Hearing Vote by School Board
At the appeal hearing this morning, all five school board members voted to retain the book with full access by all students at Mayfield High School.
This was a unanimous vote, including Board Member Cooper (who was previously thought to be a conservative).
Per the district policy, this was the final step for the Jack of Hearts book. It cannot be challenged again until the following school year.
Don't lose heart, though. We're not quitting and there is much more to come on this fight to ensure that school materials are age-appropriate.