Veterans Group Plans Protest of Certain Children's Books

10-6-05 - A veterans group plans to hold protests Saturday of Montgomery County libraries in an effort to remove about 70 children's books the group says contain explicit material.

Jim Cabaniss, president of American Veterans in Domestic Defense, said the books contain pornographic pictures or promote homosexuality.

"Our purpose is to deal with the excessive smut and pornography in the children sections of the library," he said.

Some titles include "It's Perfectly Normal," "The Perks of Being a Wallflower" and "The Plastic Man."

Montgomery County Library director Jerilynn Williams said she is aware of the protests, but the veterans group has not contacted her.

"We respect their right to have an opinion about material in our libraries," Williams said. "We stand strongly on the right of individuals to access information and the right of individuals to choose material they deem appropriate for themselves or their dependent children."

Cabaniss said some resident have approached the Commissioners Court and the library board about removing the books, but no action was taken.

He said the group's goal is to replace members of the two boards with people who will vote to remove the books.

Children's books in Montgomery County have been targeted before. In 2002, the Republican Leadership Council, a conservative Christian group, asked that the Commissioners Court remove "It's Perfectly Normal" and "It's So Amazing," both by Robie H. Harris, from library shelves for the same reasons cited by the veterans group.

The books were removed for a few months, but returned following a recommendation by a library panel that reviewed the books. The Commissioners Court approved the recommendation.