The Superintendent of Blaine County School District (BCSD), Jim Foudy, obfuscated facts about the presence of a sexually explicit book in the elementary school library. Foudy was aware that the pornographic book "It's Perfectly Normal" had been in Bellevue Elementary School for seven years, public records revealed, and was moved to Wood River Middle School in the district. Yet Foudy denied that the book had been present in the elementary school and left out the fact that it was now available to children in the middle school. The district did not produce any records to prove its claims, stating that documentation regarding the history of the book did not exist.
The Idaho Freedom Foundation's (IFF) Center for American Education contacted Foudy about "It’s Perfectly Normal" and other obscene books found in the district's Destiny database. Foudy stated in an email on May 19 that the book “has never been available to children at Bellevue Elementary and is not in the school today.” Foudy also sent an official BCSD letter to IFF’s Center for American Education claiming that the book “is not now and never has been available to children in Bellevue Elementary school.” However, public records revealed that school librarians told Foudy that the book was in Bellevue Elementary for at least seven years and now resides in Wood River Middle School.
Foudy said that a school librarian told him "that several years ago the book was purchased, but was never shelved for students." However, records reveal a teacher librarian at Wood River Middle School, Samantha Mora, told Foudy on May 19 the book was available for students and has a label on it stating, "CAUTION: This book contains adult material: language, violence, and/or sexual material. DO NOT take this book if it would offend your family’s values." Why would a public school make a self-avowed sexually explicit book offensive to family values available to children? Why make a book that needs an adult label available to children?
Foudy later claimed that an older version of "It’s Perfectly Normal" had been purchased by the district and it "didn't have the graphic illustrations that the new version contains." Each version of the book “It’s Perfectly Normal” includes graphic depictions and descriptions of sex and sexuality. The updated version includes teaching kids about gender identity and uses gender-neutral language, among other things.
In response to a public records request, the Board Clerk, Vicki Pitcairn, claimed that the book was not currently in the Bellevue Elementary School library and stated that according to records, “it appears the book was purchased for $10.99 in 2007 but was never checked out (student or teacher) and was removed from circulation some time before 2014. It is unknown who or why the book was purchased.”
The district refused to provide any receipts for the purchase of the book or reveal who purchased it, claiming the records "did not exist." This raises the question: how could the district know anything about the history of this book in Bellevue Elementary School if no records exist? When asked how the district could provide the purchase price of the book if no records exist, the Board Clerk stated, “The price of the book was derived from current prices. Once a book is out of circulation the Destiny platform drops the historical data. We have no record except for anecdotal notes on when it was removed.”
Foudy was asked about the conflicting statements provided by the district and for documentation supporting his claims. Foudy responded, "We’re not able to provide records or documents that don’t exist. The information I shared came anecdotally."
The book was marked as "copies available at Bellevue Elementary School" in the district's Destiny Database on May 18 when the Idaho Freedom Foundation published an article on the subject. The book was removed from the database a day later. By removing the book from the database after being called out, the district deleted its historical data on the book.
Another librarian, Patty Gilman, stated in an email to Mora on May 19 that “the book was never removed from the catalog” and that “it was a teacher library resource.” Gilman claimed the book had never been checked out from the library. She said, “I don’t know how to prove that or defend myself.”
The district sent a screenshot of the Destiny Database showing that the book was no longer available. But records demonstrate that the book was marked “available” at Bellevue Elementary school in the Destiny database the day that the original article was published. The book was marked as “unavailable” on Destiny a day later and three days after I alerted the school district to the issue. According to district policy, books are supposed to go through a formal challenge process before being removed from a library; however according to the superintendent, Jim Foudy, there is no record of “It’s Perfectly Normal” going through the challenge process before it was removed from Bellevue Elementary school.
The book was presumably moved from Bellevue Elementary School to Wood River Middle School in 2014, according to an email sent by Samantha Mora, a Teacher Librarian, which states that “It’s Perfectly Normal was acquired by our library in 2014.” The district provided no comment as to why the school’s Destiny databases were never updated to account for the changed location of this book after eight years, but the book’s status was suddenly changed after the article was published.
Multiple BCSD administrators covered for the librarians who have made numerous obscene books available to kids. In an email on May 19, Mora thanked Keith Roark, Chair of the BCSD Board of Trustees, for helping to craft “such a strong library policy.” Mora added, “It makes me feel much safer in my job, and able to uphold the [American Library Association]'s standards in curating our collection.” The American Library Association (ALA) is known for defending sexually explicit books available to children and recently hired a self-described "Marxist lesbian" as their new President.
After receiving a copy of the article exposing pornographic books in Wood River Middle School, Vice Principal Robert Ditch told Mora, “Make sure your seat belt is fastened. You are doing it right.”
Another email from Mora on May 19 sent to "Matt Archibald" with a link to the article stated, “I’ve already talked to Foudy about this. He and Roark have our back.”
According to BCSD’s official statement, the following pornographic or obscene books about sexuality and transgenderism remain in the district’s schools:
Wood River Middle School: “This Is Our Rainbow: 16 Stories of Her, Him, Them, and Us,” “Felix Ever After,” “Beyond Magenta: Transgender Teens Speak Out,” “Growing Up Trans: In Our Own Words,” “It’s Perfectly Normal.”
Wood River High School: “Beyond Magenta,” “Flamer,” “All Boys Aren’t Blue: A Memoir Manifesto.”
Foudy asked multiple times that the IFF take down or change the article, "Blaine County School District libraries offer pornographic books to children as young as elementary school," which exposed these books in the district's school libraries. Foudy called the article "falst[sic]" and "defamatory."
The BCSD claimed that "no parent has the right to impose their personal restrictions and objections on other students." Public schools expose children to graphic, sexually explicit material and then attack parents who object.
Disseminating obscene, harmful material to minors is a criminal offense in Idaho, as it should be. But the law currently has an exemption for schools and libraries — a loophole that many conservative lawmakers have tried to close for years.