HAMILTON COUNTY, Tenn. — A librarian's letter to Hamilton County parents sparked national headlines, all over a Mother's Day reading lesson.
The lesson was designed to include students who didn't have what is considered a 'traditional' mother.
But the group Hamilton County Moms for Liberty said the books promoted what they call the 'homosexual agenda.'
Dozens of community members gathered at the Hamilton County School Board meeting Thursday to continue the conversation.
Parents were able to take the stand and address the board on their thoughts about the cancellation of the Mother's Day Lesson.
Librarian Caroline Mickey planned to read the following two books to kids between kindergarten and second grade:
During the school board meeting, one parent said these types of lessons should be taught at home.
"Just keeping that out of the schools, and allowing parents to focus on those topics," says Jessica Perkins.
But another parent feels these topics aren't brought up enough.
"My kids are there for public school education, I believe we keep kids in the dark on what our community looks like," says Hamilton County father Joshua Ewing.
Alpine Crest Elementary Librarian Caroline Mickey says her only plan was to use the books to teach children about families who may not have a mother.
"I really wanted to highlight the role that mothers play and all of the jobs that mothers do that people might not normally think of," says Mickey.
And after several concerns, the school district decided to cancel the lesson.
"Teachers have a responsibility to teach students the state standards. As a district we're failing in this area," says Jessica Perkins.
Perkins is with Moms for Liberty, the organization that first brought the reading lesson to the attention of Hamilton County's Superintendent and a state Lawmaker.
Perkins says the parents should be the ones to teach their children these topics.
"We can still meet our state standards and teach students about respect for each other without bringing in family structure dynamics," says Perkins.
But one father whose children attend Alpine Crest says the books were approved through the Hamilton County reading list and he is upset about the lesson cancellation.
"If every book we read to them has a heterosexual, white man and woman that doesn't identify to everyone. This is 2023," he says.
District 6's representative, Ben Connor, told us he has issues with what happened...
"I am disappointed that further discussion did not take place before it was cancelled. I plan to continue to listen to educators and parents and find the right course of action for our Hamilton County Schools. Outside of the original email sensationalizing the situation I have exclusively received calls and e-mails in support of this lesson and inclusion in our schools. At the end of the day, we must make certain have clear and equitable policies and procedures in place to ensure our students can learn about our community in a positive and inclusive manner and thrive in Hamilton County and beyond. A thriving community engages and supports all of its citizens. I support Dr. Robertson and staff as we grow and learn from this situation to make the best choices possible in the future. At the end of the day, we must make certain have clear and equitable policies and procedures in place to ensure our students can learn about our community in a positive and inclusive manner and thrive in Hamilton County and beyond. A thriving community engages and supports all of its citizens. I support Dr. Robertson and staff as we grow and learn from this situation to make the best choices possible in the future."
We brought you an exclusive interview with the Librarian on Wednesday.
We asked her about the allegations by Moms for Liberty in saying the books were teaching children about homosexual families.
Mickey says she was focused more on the anxieties of children and dealing with being different.