SOUTH BEND, Ind. — A public library in South Bend is under fire after promoting “Rainbow Storytime,” in which staff intended to teach young children about the LGBTQ agenda, including the gender transitioning of kids. The event was interrupted initially by a patriot group called The Proud Boys and eventually by a concerned mother, who did not give consent for her children to be involved.
The event was being held at the Virginia M. Tutt Library branch on Miami Street in South Bend on Monday evening. One of the books included in the reading was a book about transgender kids called What are Your Words?
A group of men from a local chapter of The Proud Boys initially walked into the room where the event was being held and calmly spoke to the organizers. Several children are seen walking out of the room, one of them called their mother who showed up several minutes later.
“She (my daughter) said something about you reading some Pride stuff?” The mother said, after explaining her children spend time at the library while she is at work. “You don’t need my consent for that? My daughter, she knows better. So, she called me.”
The mother explained even further, saying staff at the library often gather children and bring them into the room for storytime on multiple days.
“Why are you shoving it on my children who don’t understand?” The mother explained to one person who was defending the event. “This is supposed to be story time, not teaching my daughters that they can be boys.”
Multiple members of the local Proud Boys organization showed up to the event, independent of the mother, to question organizers and prevent children from being exposed to sexual content.
“We are not going to allow this show to go on in front of children, so that’s what we’re here for.” One member explained to the librarian who was sitting in a chair in front of several children, said.
“Okay, well.” The librarian said, before being asked why she is reading this material to children. “Because it’s Pride Month.” The librarian then falsely claims that all children involved have parental consent, which was proven to be false when the mother of a child arrived to protest the content being taught to her children.
The Proud Boys never once yell or at berate staff. However, that’s not the case for several supporters of the sexual indoctrination of children.
“Shove it up your ass and get the fuck out of here.” One woman is heard screaming at the group of men.
After about a half an hour, the police arrive at the library, where one staff member then lied to officers, claiming the men yelled at library employees.
The library then sent the following, misleading, statement to local media — completely devoid of what is shown in the nearly 45 minute video of the incident.
On Monday, June 27 at 5 p.m. the Tutt Branch had planned to offer a Rainbow Storytime program followed by bubble wrap rainbow painting. This program was presented in partnership with The Tree House Gender Resource Center. Prior to the start of the storytime, a group from the Michiana Proud Boys entered the room and disrupted the program with the intent of canceling it. The Branch Manager intervened and the Library’s Public Safety Manager and the South Bend Police Department arrived on site and dealt with the situation.
A public library is a place of belonging. It is a place for everyone. The Library treats all community members, staff, and partners with dignity and respect. Everyone is welcome at all St. Joe County Public Library facilities.
Our mission is to provide information and resources to all members of our community, and we do not stand for the spread of misinformation or censorship. We are very saddened by the events on Monday afternoon and deeply disappointed that a program celebrating LGBTQ+ communities was disrupted. We will continue to provide inclusive programming. We would also like to apologize to any patrons who were at the library during that time and also to our staff and community partners. The Library is a safe place for everyone, and we will continue to work to make sure that everyone is and feels safe and welcome.
Nearly every local news organization ran with the false story provided by the library, without including information about the concerned mother, including ABC57, WNDU, WVPE and the South Bend Tribune.
The library ended up cancelling the event. It’s unclear if it has been rescheduled.
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In the video the police officer stated that public libraries are private property. Is there any merit to this? I thought public libraries, being funded by tax revenue, are the very definition of public property.