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Threats investigated after contentious Indian River County school board meeting involving books

Speakers from 'Moms for Liberty' read from books they wanted removed from school libraries
Posted at 6:05 PM, Aug 31, 2023

INDIAN RIVER COUNTY, Fla. — The Indian River County Sheriff's Office is investigating a death threat and other threatening calls and emails to school board members.

The threats follow a contentious meeting over books that critics said don't belong in school libraries.

A sheriff's office spokesman told WPTV that someone left a threatening message on the school district office's answering machine the day after the contentious board meeting.

During the meeting, the group "Moms for Liberty" read from books they want removed from school libraries.

After one speaker at the meeting refused to stop talking, the microphone was pulled from the lectern.
After one speaker at the meeting refused to stop talking, the microphone was pulled from the lectern.

Group members called the books obscene and pornographic and then read them aloud.

"May those of you who are the purveyors of this smut upon our children, may you rot in hell," one speaker at the meeting said.

After a few speakers continued to read passages from the books that they questioned, the school board chair noted children might be watching via livestream.

"If you don't think it's appropriate, please don't read it," school board chair Peggy Jones said.

However, the last speaker at the meeting didn't stop when asked, prompting a school official to remove the microphone as the speaker read a passage from a book he called pornographic.

Indian River County School District Superintendent David Moore confirmed the threats in an email.
Indian River County School District Superintendent David Moore confirmed the threats in an email.

Deputies escorted the man, who said he was a pastor, out of the meeting.

For some, hard feelings lingered the day after the meeting.

Indian River School Superintendent David Moore said in an email that "the escalation of this issue resulted in our board members receiving threatening emails and calls."

Jennifer Pippin of Moms for Liberty, the group that organized many of the readings said the following in an emailed statement:

"Under no circumstances would we tolerate from our membership any kind of threat made to anyone under any circumstances."

The day after the meeting school administrators removed 20 books in question from county school libraries. The sheriff's office continues to try to find out who sent the threatening messages and emails to school board members.