Downbeach parents keeping close eye on book sales organized by the Ocean City PTA.
Note: Margate and Ventnor are ‘sending districts’ to Ocean City High School.
During a recent Ocean City Board of Education meeting, parents raised concerns about sexually explicit content in some of the books available to younger students.
Kevin Schaffer, an Ocean City father of three, was furious. “I’m here to talk about a book. In this case it’s pornography. It’s pedophilia,” he said. “I’m pretty sure when a fourth-grader looks at a man kissing a boy, it’s probably not a good thing.”
Schaffer: The book should not have been available to a fourth-grader. Absolutely appalling. This is not about gay. It’s a man and a boy. It has nothing to do with gay. It’s not anti-gay. It’s inappropriate.
Christina Ardelean, an Ocean City mother: “This was made available for fourth-graders to buy at the school book fair. I don’t want to over-sexualize my child. I don’t want this sexual content pushed on fourth, fifth, sixth graders. It’s not age-appropriate.”
As seen in OCNJDAILY: Parents Complain of Explicit Material at School Book Sale
The material was inappropriate. We told Scholastic (vendor) that it is not appropriate.Scott McCartney
Dr. Scott McCartney
Interim Superintendent of Ocean City Schools
OC School Superintendent McCartney blamed an outside vendor that supplied the books.
“As superintendent, I am certainly aware of the book fair. Scholastic is an outside company, and we pay them to have some books in place and make sure they are age-appropriate,” McCartney said of the vendor.
OC School Board President
The OC School Board President is Chris Halliday.
Ocean City debating how curriculum on sex and gender identity are presented to schoolchildren. Parents asking: How much of the school day should be focused on sex, race and LGBTQ issues?
Parents pushing back against Gov Murphy’s state mandates considered inappropriate for 4th and 5th graders.
PTA President is Katie Grimm.
OCEAN CITY PTA Statement on Scholastic Book Fair:
As was discussed at our recent general membership meetings, Scholastic sends a selection of books based on the grade levels in the school; the PTA does not choose the books.
At the most recent OCIS Scholastic Book Fair, one book out of $5,000 worth of books sold was brought to the attention of OCIS administration and was deemed inappropriate for profanity. This book is the first in a series of four graphic novels and had received no prior complaints.
The sixth grader who purchased the book was given a refund and the book was removed from the selection.
As always, the PTA supports parents’ rights to review and choose what books their children may buy at the Book Fair.
Since the Book Fair, the PTA has been subject to relentless social media bullying and harassment. The general maligning of PTA Officers has been devastating to us as we are all volunteers who dedicate countless unpaid hours to support the teachers and students of this district.
We are also completely discouraged that some Board of Education members who were in attendance at our most recent PTA meetings would allow misinformation to continue to be shared.
This situation continues to pull our focus from where it belongs, which is on the children of Ocean City.