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Opinion - Regarding Charles Library sex education program

To the Editor:
I was asked by my colleagues to represent the board of county commissioners on the library board of trustees. Therefore, it is my responsibility to bring to this body any concern I may have regarding the Charles County Public Library.

Recently, the library advertised a sex education program for teens aged 12 through 18. Parental consent was not a registration requirement. I expressed my strong opposition to the library sponsoring such an event, and urged the library’s executive director, Janet Salazar, to cancel the program. I question Ms. Salazar’s judgment in approving this program.

My concerns and reservations about this program are numerous. This type of sensitive issue should be addressed by trusted community organizations and leaders that specialize in this subject matter.

The library routinely provides space for nonprofit agencies to hold programs. The issue is not about space. This is about mission, not censorship. Programming should be aligned with the library’s mission. I want to make it clear that I do not support this proposed program.
It is my understanding the board has voted to cancel the proposed program. I ask the board to be mindful of the community’s concerns before moving forward with this type of program.

I ask anyone who shares my concerns regarding the library sponsoring or planning a sex education program to please contact Ms. Salazar, the library’s executive director, at jsalazar@ccplonline.org. Please feel free to copy me (stewarta@charlescountymd.gov) on your correspondence if you would like to share your comments with me.

Charles County Commissioners’ Vice President Amanda Stewart [D - District 3]

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