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Lafayette Library Board of Control will not intervene with controversial story time

Posted at 10:40 PM, Sep 17, 2018
and last updated 2018-09-17 23:40:43-04

The Drag Queen Story Time will go on as scheduled next month.

The Lafayette Public Library Board of Control held their first meeting Monday night, since the controversy started.

Their message: they have no plans to intervene.

After the meeting, board members told KATC’s Dannielle Garcia they are trusting the decision of the librarians who chose to move forward with the programming

Even still, dozens of people spoke to the board and some things got heated.

“Research shows that transgender-ism is dangerous for children,” said one man who went up to speak.

An audience member, who later identified himself as a transgender male, shot back, “It’s because people like you tell us that we don’t exist.”

A contentious moment over a controversial topic, another man even got escorted out of the meeting after telling a deputy, “sir you can go sit down” when the deputy stood near him.

The event was not on the agenda nor discussed by board members during the meeting.

“Programming never comes on the agenda for the board, we don’t do programming… We’re not going to micro-manage the programming and there’s people in this library who have 30 plus years of experience in setting up programs and choosing age-appropriate programs and they’ve been pretty successful at it,” said library board vice president, Nora Stelly.

After the hundreds of calls, e-mails, and the speakers at the meeting, library director Teresa Elberson defended her decision to host the UL fraternity’s event.

“It’s true there are always two sides however I feel strongly that this program is important. I would’ve never brought it forward had I not felt that,” said Elberson.

32 speakers came to voice their opinions, of those 20 were opposed.

“Everybody’s free to do what they want but not when it comes to my grandchildren or other 3 to 6-year-olds. Why would we do this to our little kids?” said one man.

“These people are obviously confused, I don’t think they need to be bullied but at the same time I don’t think they should be in authoritative or leadership positions,” said another woman calling for the cancellation of the program.

And 12 were in support of the event.

“Wouldn’t it be wonderful if instead of teaching hate and fear we taught our children to love,” said a woman supporting the story time.

“Send a clear message today that the Lafayette Public Library accepts everyone even if you’re different. No, especially if you’re different,” said another man to the board.

The story time is still set for October 6 and they say they’re expecting a big turn out.

Tomorrow night, the Lafayette City-Parish Council will consider a resolution opposing the program.