A Georgia school board chairman who silenced a parent's protest against sexually explicit books was investigated in 2019 for allegedly doctoring and distributing pornographic images of his neighbors.
Inaction or indifference from school officials toward sexually explicit content available to their kids in school libraries has spurred parents across the country into action, drawing them to voice concerns at school board meetings. In Forsyth County, a group of parents have protested library holdings they say include mature sexual content. At one March school board meeting, Alison Hair read from a book available at her son's middle school, which contains explicit discussions of oral sex.
In response, Forsyth County Board of Education chairman Wes McCall ordered Hair to leave the public comment session and barred her from attending future meetings. McCall made headlines in 2019 after two members of his homeowners' association accused him of photoshopping their faces onto pornographic images.
The Forsyth County sheriff's office determined McCall was part of a group that shared the "graphic" photos in a group text, Fox 5 Atlanta reported at the time. McCall was placed on administrative leave, though Alpharetta City and Forsyth County officials declined to charge him with a crime. He resigned as the city's deputy director of public safety but kept his school board seat.
McCall is the latest school board member to find himself embroiled in controversy. Parents have flocked to school board meetings to protest coronavirus regulations and the teaching of radical racial and gender ideologies.
Hair chose to speak up to protest the contents of Georgia Peaches and Other Forbidden Fruit, a novel about teenage lesbians available in her son's school. She says McCall cut her off when she read a scene that referred to oral sex.
"I literally got to the word ‘blow job' and got gaveled out," Hair told the Washington Free Beacon. "If I can't read it here, then why in this world is this in our libraries?"
After cutting her off, McCall ordered security to clear the room. Days later, Hair received a letter from McCall informing her that she would not be allowed to attend school board meetings until she agreed to abide by school board meeting procedures. According to the board policy available on the district's website, speakers must refrain from using "profane, rude, defamatory" language during public comment time. A district spokeswoman did not specify to the Free Beacon which of the board's procedures Hair violated.
McCall did not respond to a Free Beacon request for comment in time for publication. His colleagues, school board members Darla Light, Lindsey Adams, Tom Cleveland, and Kristin Morrissey, also did not respond to requests for comment regarding the 2019 allegations against McCall and his decision to remain on the school board after his investigation.
Hair tells the Free Beacon that children as young as 11 years old in Forsyth County schools have access to books that reference rape and incest and include explicit descriptions of touching genitals and breasts.
"These books are sexualizing our children," Hair said. "They're too young, and the books are setting expectations for sexual intimacy that are against how we are raising our children."
Forsyth County Public Schools superintendent Jeff Bearden in January removed eight books from district libraries that parents said contain explicit material. A district spokeswoman at the time said that the matter is not about "censorship" but, rather, the district's responsibility to provide age-appropriate materials to students.