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INAPPROPRIATE BOOK IN NM SCHOOL LIBRARY

The Jack of Hearts and Other Parts is in the school library at Mayfield High School (MHS) in Las Cruces, NM.  This book contains numerous sexually explicit scenes and themes that are not age appropriate for 14 year old children.

New Mexico Freedoms Alliance (NMFA) and the Coalition of Conservatives in Action (CCIA) submitted a formal complaint against this book with Las Cruces Public Schools (LCPS).  Please email Sarah Smith (concernedfornm@gmail.com) or Juan Garcia (cciawinusa@protonmail.com) to get involved.
See below for the following info:
  • Photos of the book pages showing some of the explicit content
  • Recap of LCPS formal book review committee hearing
  • LCPS Superintendent's decision to retain the book in the school library
  • Appeal hearing where the School Board voted to retain the book in the school library
  • Next steps and how you can help
juan and sarah with book.png
Explicit Content Book Pages
The following photos show some of the explicit content in this book, including scenes describing illegal activities such as an underage teen soliciting sex from an adult through Grindr, an underage teen having bondage anal sex with an overage adult, a teen taking nude photos of himself to send to others, teens smoking pot and getting blackout drunk so they cannot remember whether they had sex the night before, blow job tips, a student having sex with a school coach in the locker room, and much more.

WARNING: THE BOOK EXCERPTS BELOW CONTAIN GRAPHIC CONTENT
THAT IS NOT APPROPRIATE FOR CHILDREN.

Formal Book Review Committee Hearing
On October 12, 2023, there was a formal hearing for a committee of 4 teachers and 3 parents to vote on whether they think the book should be removed from the school library. The committee members were appointed by the LCPS School Board.
 
In a 6-to-1 vote, the committee recommended to the LCPS Superintendent that the book should remain in the Mayfield High School library.
 
The school district will not post the video of the hearing on their website. However, we were able to obtain a copy so you can watch the video of the hearing here.  NOTE: This video includes the reading of graphic excerpts from the book and is not appropriate for children. 

LCPS Superintendent's Decision to Retain the Book
Following the formal hearing on October 12, the decision was up to LCPS Superintendent Ruiz to decide whether or not to keep the book in the MHS library.
 
Based on the book review committee's recommendation, Superintendent Ruiz decided to retain the book in the school.  He has deemed it to be "age appropriate" and did not find the content to be "pervasively vulgar."
 

Appeal Hearing Where LCPS School Board Votes to Retain the Book in the School Library With Full Access for Students
Through a public records request, it was found that school board members Nolan and Wofford and MHS librarian Karen Hansen-Sharp had purposely "stacked" the book review committee against the concerned parents. The book review was not chosen impartially, and instead it was ensured that the members of the committee would be in favor of retaining the book before they had even reviewed the content of the book.
 
An appeal was filed against Superintendent Ruiz's decision and school board President Tenorio was given evidence that the book review committee was not chosen impartially.  School Board President Tenorio refused to throw out the decision of the "stacked" committee and moved forward with the appeal hearing, including allowing both Wofford and Nolan to vote on whether to retain the book. The school board voted unanimously to retain the book with full access for students down to ages 13-14 years old.
Below is the video of the formal appeal hearing and the school board's vote. NOTE: This video includes the reading of graphic excerpts from the book and is not appropriate for children. 
 

Next Steps and How You Can Help
Per the district policy, The Jack of Hearts and Other Parts book cannot be challenged further until the following school year.
 
Several other initiatives to continue to challenge inappropriate books in school libraries are currently in-work. These books have no place in taxpayer-funded schools, and NMFA and CCIA will continue this fight.
 
More public awareness of this issue is needed. Parents, especially, need to know about this book and the School Board's decision. Please share this page widely so more parents can learn what is happening.
Please email Sarah Smith (concernedfornm@gmail.com) or Juan Garcia (cciawinusa@protonmail.com) to get involved.
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