Scott Jordan of Cumberland, the parent of a child in MSAD # 51, presented the board with documents showing that Cumberland’s Greely High School contains several obscene and pornographic books.
According to Follet Learning’s Destiny Library Manager, Greely High School’s library stocks “Gender Queer: A Memoir” by Maia Kobabe, a book which contains graphic depictions of oral sex and strap-on dildos.
Here is a list of other books on the shelves of the Greely High School Library:
- “Be Gay, Do Comics: Queer History, Memoir, and Satire from the Nib” by Matt Bors
- “A Queer History of the United States for Young People” by Michael Bronski
- “Queer, There, and Everywhere: 23 People Who Changed the World” by Sarah Prager
- “Fine: A Comic About Gender” by Rhea Ewing
- “All Boys Aren’t Blue: A Memoir-Manifesto” by George M. Johnson
Prior to beginning his prepared comments, Jordan was informed by board chair Leanne Candura that his public comment time would be limited to three minutes, despite the speaker prior to Jordan speaking for over six minutes.
CANDURA: I do see that there’s a lot of people in the audience, I would like just maybe to ask, I think we typically do three minutes.
JORDAN: I think we should go longer, that was a lot longer than three minutes.
CANDURA: Yeah, and I, thank you.
JORDAN: If I can have five, no more than five.
CANDURA: I think we have a lot on our agenda tonight.
JORDAN: Ma’am, I hear you loud and clear, but that was far more than three minutes, I think you would agree.
CANDURA: Thank you.
“This is the only time we have to do board business, and so I appreciate everyone here tonight and I want to give the opportunity for people to speak if they’re here to speak,” Candura said, at which time Jordan began his presentation.
“The current education system in our country, our state and our community is completely upside down — I assume many can appreciate that — where school prayer is banned but pornography and drag shows are absolutely allowed,” Jordan said. “You can’t teach the Bible but you can teach children that men get pregnant and that kindergartners are allowed to pick their gender”
“While this administration might think that the district knows what’s best for our children, I can tell you they don’t. But you know who knows what’s best for our children? The Parents,” he said.
“Can somebody please explain to me how this district is able to push pornographic books such as Gender Queer — which I’ve provided pictures for — and indoctrinate our children into a particular lifestyle while they are still discovering life and who they are, and how this is acceptable by this administration?” Jordan asked.
Jordan continued until he was interrupted by the board chair, who said “I appreciate — I appreciate your time Scott. That’s three minutes.”
“I’m not leaving until one of two things occurs: you either call the police, or you tell me the next steps on what you’re doing. This community is — we’re tired of it — what are you doing tonight to remove these books from our libraries?” Jordan said after being cut off.
“This is the public comment section of the agenda, we open up –” Candura said, before Robert (Bob) Vail, Cumberland Councilor At-Large and the person who spoke prior to Jordan, told Jordan from the audience that asking the board to respond in session was out of order.
“I do not acknowledge Bob Vail, he is not a board member,” Jordan said.
“Scott, I will take a look at the materials that you’ve passed out, and those books that you have given the information to the board, and find out more information,” said Jeff Porter, Superintendent of MSAD #51.
“Jeff, that’s not acceptable. I’ve done that with you already. Nothing has happened, those books have been in our library –” Scott responded.
“Well I’d like to at least give you a response, Scott, on the specific information you provided,” Superintendent Porter said.
“That’s not acceptable Jeff, that has been up in our middle school, those black and white photos, have been up in our middle school for our fourth and fifth graders to see. They should not be knowing about sexual orientation and gender identity, that should be left up to the parents,” Jordan said.
“I’m not leaving this podium tonight until you either provide me with next steps that are acceptable, or the police [are] called. I’ve had it, and so have many other folks in this community,” he added.
Chair Candura then suggested that the board adjourn their meeting for the evening:
CANDURA: This is the meeting which we are, to do our public business, we have some really important things on the agenda tonight.
JORDAN: And our kids are not? This is far more important than a new school.
CANDURA: Would anyone like to motion to adjourn tonight’s meeting?
A brief debate between Jordan and the board members followed Candura’s suggestion that the board adjourn.
“Has anybody on this board looked at Gender Queer one time?” Jordan asked the board.
“I have,” a board member responded.
“And you’re okay with oral sex, you’re okay with anal sex?” Jordan asked.
“It’s your interpretation of it,” the board member said.
“No, it’s not just mine,” Jordan responded.
This back-and-forth was followed by a motion to adjourn and a second, at which point the board voted to adjourn the meeting.
Despite Jordan agreeing to sit down and let others speak, the board adjourned.
“So that’s what the board is going to do? They’re going to run away, because somebody’s pushing back?” Jordan said.
According to Scott Jordan, following the adjournment of Monday night’s meeting, parents were outside discussing the meeting with Superintendent Jeff Porter.
While Jordan was talking to Porter, Board Vice Chair Kim Vine pulled up in her car next to the superintendent, and asked him if he needed a ride and if he was okay, Jordan said in a phone interview Monday.
Jeff Porter told Vine that everything was fine, and continued his conversation with the parents, according to Jordan.
Jordan said following Kim Vine’s departure, three police cruisers pulled into the parking lot minutes after each other.
When speaking with the third responding officer, Jordan said that the officer mistook him for conservative activist Shawn McBreairty, and asked Jordan if “They were going to have a problem like last year.”
Jordan said that the officer became angry with him, and told Jordan that he “didn’t want to be dragged into [his] political issues.”
The Cumberland Police have not yet responded to a public records request related to Monday night’s incident as of the time of this article being published.
Chair of MSAD #51 Leanne Candura issued this statement to the Maine Wire Tuesday:
The meeting was not adjourned due to the content of the speaker’s comments. Every speaker has the opportunity to address the Board as long as they are following meeting procedures. The meeting was adjourned due to the speaker in question refusing to follow these meeting procedures, despite being prompted to do so. The speaker refused to leave the podium and allow other members of the public to speak after his speaking time was over. Given that the situation had created an impasse and that the meeting was unable to proceed properly, it was in the best interest of those in attendance to adjourn the meeting at that time. As for your question about the police being called, I would refer this to the Cumberland Police if further information is needed.
Although Candura claims Scott Jordan refused to leave the podium, in the video of Monday night’s board meeting, Jordan can be heard saying that he will sit down and let others speak.
Superintendent Jeff Porter responded to a request for comment by deferring to Candura’s statement.