Michigan Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer pointedly refused on Tuesday to condemn the presence of sexually explicit materials in her state’s public schools.
During the live debate between the governor and Republican challenger Tudor Dixon, both were asked by the moderator how they would respond to the boiling controversy over these materials in taxpayer-funded children’s libraries.
Dixon has put parental rights at the forefront of her gubernatorial campaign, and she quickly zeroed the focus in on “sexual content” and “pornography.” The GOP challenger emphasized that Whitmer has been silent while parents fight to have these books removed from their schools.
Michigan Dem Gov. Gretchen Whitmer says GOP enflaming issue of explicit material in public schoolshttps://t.co/xC6MvYIVAJ
Muslim Americans in Dearborn turned out in high numbers to protest the school district's decision to include LGBTQ books in school libraries.
— ksh (@kshugh1984) October 26, 2022
Whitmer, seeking reelection to her second term, quickly diverted from the issue and accused Republicans of “trying to wedge communities against one another.” The incumbent called it “dangerous” and “selfish” to spotlight parental concerns over explicit materials in schools.
Seeing Dixon gaining ground in recent polls, the governor went on the defensive. She asked if voters believe that books are a greater danger to Michigan children than gun violence.
It’s doubtful, but there’s no reason both issues cannot be challenged by a strong and determined leader. Dixon reiterated during the debate that her opponent had been unwilling to side with parents and their concerns over inappropriate books, including LGBT-themed works, in public schools.
The GOP challenger quickly noted that “we’re talking about pornography in schools” and that parents across Michigan are up in arms over the issue.
What they’ve received instead from Whitmer is silence.
It was just weeks ago when Muslim Americans in Dearborn filled a school district meeting protesting the presence of LGBT books in a school library. The concerned parents asserted that several of the books were sexually explicit and not suitable for their children.