RUIDOSO, N.M. (KRQE) – A battle in one New Mexico school district Monday night over controversial books inside schools. The Ruidoso School Board was tipped off by parents who were concerned about the contents inside a book.
One parent who spoke with KRQE said removing books poses a threat to students’ rights. “When we start talking about banning books or removing books from the library it can be a very slippery slope and that’s not a decision for us to be making for really anyone,” said the anonymous parent of a student in the district.
There was a packed Ruidoso Municipal School District school board meeting on Monday night. Parents and citizens shared opinions on what they think of removing books from schools. A parent told News 13 the controversy started when parents contacted the school over an LGBTQ book in the Ruidoso High School library.
Some parents at Monday’s meeting said the book could be subjecting minors to inappropriate information without first getting the consent of parents. Others said school libraries should be able to hold such books for students to help them talk about who they are.
The school board said the discussion was not about banning books but rather discussing the process of how books end up in their schools. They mentioned they follow the New Mexico School Boards Association policy, and if parents have an issue with certain books they can reach out through a link on the NMSBA website.
“There is a process for anyone that finds a book. If they have a question about it, if they have a complaint about it, fill out the form and submit it to me and I will review it,” said a Ruidoso Municipal School Board member.
The topic of Monday’s meeting was only a discussion item on the agenda, not an action item. Members of the board added once they receive a complaint, they can work with the parent on keeping their children away from the book, while others will still be able to read it.
The board said they take book recommendations from students as well as look at lists from organizations. That includes the American Library Association and the New Mexico Library Association reading list.