FRANKLIN — Links to pages from a sexual health book people claim is being used in Tennessee schools has Williamson County school officials fighting back.
"It's Perfectly Normal," a book about sexual awareness geared towards students 10 years and up, and shows explicit illustrations of nude bodies and talks about masturbation, is making the rounds on websites, portrayed as a textbook currently being used in fourth grade classrooms.
A Tennessee Department of Education official has confirmed that book is not on any state-approved list of textbooks.
However, on the official website of Victoria Jackson, who is also a candidate for a Williamson County Commission seat, said the book was being used in Williamson County Schools. Later, that reference to the school system and to county school board candidate Candy Emerson found on the website were removed, said Carol Birdsong, a spokeswoman for the district.
But maybe not soon enough. The link went viral Thursday, showing up on other websites such as ClashDaily.com and joeforamerica.com with headlines like "Sexing up your kids" and "Sex and Lies in Current Tennessee Textbooks" with the original content from Jackson's posting.
On joeforamerica.com it says that teacher of 30 years Candy Emerson, shared pages from "It's Perfectly Normal," claiming that it was in fourth grade classrooms. "Candy Emerson is currently running for a position on the Williamson County Schoolboard in an attempt to remove these books and Common Core from schools, and to remove apathy from the current school board," the posting says.
The illustrations and the website content prompted questions on the district's Facebook site and a flurry of calls to county school administrators to ask if the book is being used in classrooms, Birdsong said.
Director of Schools Mike Looney issued this statement late Thursday: "This accusation is simply not true," Looney said. "Some people are spreading false information claiming that Williamson County Schools uses the book "It's Perfectly Normal." These individuals appear to be maliciously maligning WCS for personal or political gain. This book is not a part of the school district's curriculum and is not in any of our school libraries. Students have no access to this book through Williamson County Schools. False claims such as these interfere with the work of the district."
This sex ed book appears to be yet another rallying cry from a small group of county parents who have found troubling content from bias to inaccuracies in a wide range of textbooks approved by the state's textbook commission. The group is also particularly dissatisfied with books published by Pearson.
From Jackson's website, she writes: "The current textbooks being used in public schools today, that your children are reading, memorizing and being tested on, are inaccurate, revisionist, anti-American, racist, climate change propaganda based on fake science, anti-Christian, anti-Semitic, pro-Islam, Marxist, globalist, pro-Socialism/Communism, pro-homosexuality, pro-abortion, and sexually explicit."
"It's Perfectly Normal" is distributed by The Family Library and independently published by Candlewick Press, the book's author is Robie H. Harris. Illustrations are by Michael Emberley.