Who remembers Chuck E. Cheese pizza place and game room? While it’s certainly not for germaphobes or anyone who likes quality pizza, little kids used to love (and probably still love) those crazy singing, dancing animals and all the video games. One thing Chuck E. Cheese really got right is their tagline: “Where a kid can be a kid.”

I used to think Alabama was a state where kids could be kids, but it looks like we could use some sage wisdom from that big dancing rat right now.

Ever heard of SORA? I had not until April 6, 2024. On that day, Amie Beth Shaver’s column ran in 1819 News. Her column (along with a Facebook post from someone else), opened my eyes to a horrendous and mortifying local issue.

According to her article, SORA and Epic, which are online libraries for kids on school-issued Chromebooks, contain a playbook for sexual activity, descriptions of sexual activities kids can participate in, and help to find the best kind of sex toys for your K-12 child.

If anyone just spit their coffee out, is having a panic attack, or screamed in a public place, don’t blame me. I’m just one of the horrified messengers.

I thought I could provide some positive news on this subject, for Hoover at least. Hoover City Schools Superintendent Dr. Kevin Maddox recently announced that he found and removed two books containing sexually explicit content from Hoover’s SORA reading app. His action demonstrates that Shaver’s column and emails from concerned Spain Park High School parents really do effect change.

Or maybe his move was just an appeasement. Just this morning, a Hoover parent emailed me to let me know there are still plenty of sexually explicit and questionable books loaded onto Hoover's SORA app, accessible to her 6th grader. Hoover City Schools should do better.

But for a “red” state right in the middle of the Bible Belt, Alabama is failing when it comes to protecting our children. From “kid friendly” drag shows in Prattville to June “Gay Pride” displays in the children’s section at the Shelby County Library – there are people pushing for children to embrace sex. Read that again – different cities, school districts, and organizations are pushing for CHILDREN to embrace SEX.

If you think this is OK or that elementary-age children and even teens should be encouraged to “explore” their sexuality with various partners, sex toys, and reading material, then you can consider yourself a predator – here’s your sign.

There are a lot of parents I know who are DONE. And when I say done, that’s code for just getting started.

We are done with these perverse attempts to sexually groom our children.

We are done being quiet while this deviant material lurks on library reading apps.

We are done allowing teachers to sexually indoctrinate our children when their JOB is to teach math, English, foreign languages, science, and maybe an elective or two.

On the legislative front, Moms for Liberty Alabama dropped a press release on Sunday calling on the Alabama Legislature to pass HB 385 and HB 425. These specific bills, if passed, would act as safeguards for children. Specifically, these bills would prohibit the state or any library from providing minors with sexually explicit content without a parent/guardian’s consent. Our Legislature desperately needs to take up these bills and send them to Gov. Ivey to sign into law.

In October 2023, I wrote an editorial on bringing childhood back. I don’t understand how people can’t see it. Children don’t need to be inundated with mature subject matter. They deserve to have a childhood free of adult concerns and issues for as long as possible. They don’t need to stumble across sexually explicit books on school-issued Chromebooks. School districts and libraries need to stop feeding this garbage to our children. And if they refuse, we need to un-elect the City Council members who appoint the school board members.

Many of us fell asleep at the education wheel for years because we live in Alabama. But Covid remote learning jarred us out of our complacency. We know better now, so we must do better.

Go to your school district’s board meetings. Visit a City Council meeting. If you’re a Stay-At-Home-Mom, substitute teach in your child’s school. Remind city leaders and school board members that they are accountable to “We the People.” We pay their salaries. They work for us.

Kristin Landers is a substitute teacher and freelance writer. Landers’ previous work includes serving as Communications Director for the Alabama Policy Institute and working for Citizens Against a Legalized Lottery (CALL) to defeat legalized gambling in the state of Alabama.

The views and opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the policy or position of 1819 News. To comment, please send an email with your name and contact information to Commentary@1819News.com.

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