The heartrending story of a librarian who can’t give kids pornographic material
Tania Galiñanes is a martyr to the aspirational job of being a school librarian, driven out by the draconian dictates of Governor Ron DeSantis and his inquisitors in the Florida legislature. Thanks to them, she can no longer put sexual or racially divisive content before young children. Those restrictions, according to a loving profile in the Washington Post, make her job untenable.
I don’t think I can do better than to give you the first two paragraphs from the WaPo’s teary essay because they so perfectly set the tone for what is to come:
It was her last Monday morning in the library, and when Tania Galiñanes walked into her office and saw another box, she told herself that this would be the last one.
Inside were books. She didn’t know how many, or what they were, only that she would need to review each one by hand for age-appropriate material and sexual content as defined by Florida law, just as she’d been doing for months now with the 11,600 books on the shelves outside her door at Tohopekaliga High School.
Can you feel it? Can you feel the sheer horror of making sure that high school students, some of whom are as young as thirteen, are not being exposed to sexualized material?
Image by Andrea Widburg using an AI prompt.
But that’s not all. On her last day at the school, Tania’s being burdened by another DeSantis mandate, one intended to stifle her freedoms as a librarian:
She’d wanted to get to the box right away, but now she saw one of the school administrators at her door, asking whether she’d heard about the latest education mandate in Florida.
“What’s the name of this thing?” he said. “Freedom Week?”
She exhaled loudly. “Freedom Week.”
“Oh, good,” he said. “You know about this.”
Yes, Tania knew about it. It was one more thing the state had asked of them, a mandatory recitation of parts of the Declaration of Independence “to reaffirm the American ideals of individual liberty,” along with something else she had heard from the district. “They asked us to please not celebrate Banned Books Week,” Tania said.
The horror! Instead of being able to make a big deal about Gender Queer and other “banned” books that feature graphically displayed LGBTQ+ sex (including, in many books, even more weird fetishes), she was being expected to put the Declaration of Independence before the school’s students. No wonder she “exhaled loudly.” This kind of stuff is clearly more than any decent librarian should be asked to bear.
The breaking point for poor Tania came when parents—those uneducated, hate-filled, puritanical monsters—stood before a school board and read from “books they described as a danger to kids.” And of course, the evil Moms for Liberty came after her on Facebook saying that, if she was going to put sexually explicit, fetishistic books in the school library, she shouldn’t be a school librarian. When she realized that things such as LGBTQ+ stuff were off the table, this knowledge was so upsetting to Tania that she got eczema and insomnia. The pain. Oooh, the pain.
The essay goes on and on as Tania moans over boxes of sheet music (no sexual content here) and is forced to mark with an “M” for “mature,” those materials that cover sex and violence. We’re told that Tiffany D. Jackson’s book Grown earned one of those scarlet (well, actually, black on scarlet) letters.
It’s intriguing that the WaPo essay focuses on a book about race, rather than LGBTQ+ stuff, undoubtedly to make the point that the Florida standards are racist. However, the reality is that, according to a site that really likes the book, it contains “physical, emotional, verbal, and sexual abuse, grooming, addiction, suicidal threats, mention of suicide, violence, kidnapping, stalking, murder.” That is, it’s really not material for the younger set.
I very quickly got bored with the essay because it’s one endless sob story about evil parents blocking good librarians from exposing mentally and emotionally needy young people to important information about LGBTQ+ sexuality and America’s systemic racism. However, it’s important to know that this is what the left believes: You, the parents, are evil puritans. They, the “educators,” are bringing your children from the darkness you create into the light they shine. And they’re going to fight back hard—by being both vicious and pathetic—to silence your voice.