By Mike McCombs
In the second public comment period at Tuesday night’s Beaufort County Board of Education meeting at the Beaufort County School District offices in Beaufort, Jodie Srutek of the Beaufort County Democratic Party read a freshly approved resolution from the party’s executive committee to the school board.
Resolution to support intellectual freedom under the First Amendment
The below resolution was adopted unanimously on the 13th day of December, 2022, by the Beaufort County Democratic Party Executive Committee.
WHEREAS, foundational to our Democracy is the freedom of expression, which includes the right to read, seek and receive ideas, and is protected speech under the First Amendment.
WHEREAS, The Beaufort County Democratic Party rejects attempts by public officials, entities, and any others to limit these freedoms by restricting access to books and information without appropriate public engagement and procedural safeguards to ensure that freedom of expression, including intellectual freedom, is not prohibited or restricted.
WHEREAS, The Beaufort County Democratic Party believes in the value of critical thinking and how that helps shape well-rounded members of our society, and that all people have a right to stories, ideas, and information that accurately reflect the diversity of our world.
WHEREAS, the Beaufort County Democratic Party calls on the elected members of the School Board of Trustees to act in their authority as representatives of the public interest and direct the leadership of the Beaufort County School District to follow established policies regarding the handling of library materials to prevent the infringement of First Amendment rights of students.
BE IT RESOLVED that the Beaufort County Democratic Party supports freedom of expression as guaranteed by the First Amendment to include the rights of all students to access a variety of books in schools, in libraries, and elsewhere and opposes attempts by public officials, entities and any others in our community working to limit access of students to a wide variety of literature and learning resources.