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Lexington Park Library planning extra security

Lexington Park, MD- The Lexington Park Library is making plans for additional security on Sunday, May 21 during a planned sex education workshop for teens.

“We have been in touch with the St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Department and they are making preparations for Sunday. We know some groups are planning to protest and we’d like to have the Sheriff’s Office’s cooperation,” said Michael Blackwell, director of St. Mary’s County Libraries.

There are some disgruntled members of the community who are upset over plans for the Southern Maryland Area Secular Humanists (SMASH) to host certified sex educator, Bianca Palmisano. “My talks are largely focused on clinical education and giving teens a safe space to ask questions without the watchful eye of parents,” she stated.

Parents who are registering their teens for the voluntary workshop are being asked to sign a consent form before the class. There’s been an ongoing debate between outraged members in St. Mary’s County and the library’s Board of Trustees, as well as county commissioners. “People are free to assemble to speak and talk and the library guarantees equal access. We can’t discriminate who gets to use meeting rooms,” Blackwell stated.

The Chapter Coordinator for SMASH, Samantha McGuire, paid for the meeting room, thus allowing the meeting room to be closed to the public, according to library policy.

There is now a man threatening to sue the library over this controversy. Dan Kleinman, a so-called "library watchdog,"  advised the library of a pending lawsuit should the workshop take place on Sunday. You can read more about the potential lawsuit here.

“I currently have no other comment due to the legal complications of the situation,” Blackwell stated.

On Tuesday, someone was in the parking lot of the Lexington Park library leaving these fliers on cars in protest of the planned workshop. “They cannot do that. It’s in violation of our no solicitation policy and we have asked them to stop,” Blackwell said.

TheBayNet.com has reached out to SafeLibraries for comment on the pending litigation and has not yet heard back. We’ll continue to follow this story.

Contact Joy Shrum at j.shrum@thebaynet.com

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