- The Washington Times - Sunday, August 14, 2022

Two men are being sued for defamation by the Louisiana school librarian who was accused of being “a pedophile” for wanting to keep “pornographic material” in a public library’s children’s section, according to a lawsuit.

Middle school librarian Amanda Jones filed the lawsuit Wednesday that said Michael Lunsford and Ryan Thames, who are also from Louisiana, have run separate Facebook pages that falsely claim the librarian is trying to instruct children as young as 11 years old about sexual acts with her anti-censorship stance.

The accusations against Ms. Jones — the 2021 School Library Journal National Librarian of the Year and president of the Louisiana Association of School Librarians — stem from her public remarks made during a Livingston Parish Library board meeting last month about potentially removing certain books.



At the meeting, Ms. Jones said that “Nobody is putting pornography in children’s sections of the library. Stop that false narrative.” 

She went on to say that librarians consult professional reviews to determine what age a given title would be appropriate for before placing it in the library. If people don’t like where a book was placed, the library also has a formal process where people can challenge it, she said.

The two books in question are “Let’s Talk About It: The Teen’s Guide to Sex, Relationships, and Being a Human” and “Dating and Sex: A Guide for the 21st Century Teen Boy.” 

On the Amazon page for both books, a review from the School Library Journal recommends that the books are appropriate for grades 9 and up. 

In School Library Journal’s review for “Let’s Talk About It,” which is a graphic novel, it says there are drawings of naked bodies and “the detailed drawings of genitals are not solely in service of explaining how babies are made.”

The lawsuit said Ms. Jones’ comments prompted a wave of defamatory harassment from Mr. Lunsford and Mr. Thames.

Mr. Lunsford, who runs the conservative nonprofit Citizens for a New Louisiana, is said to have posted multiple times as the administrator of the group’s Facebook page and repeatedly singled out Ms. Jones, according to the lawsuit.    

One post that was cited read, “There are librarians in Livingston Parish who believe that sharing erotica and instructing juveniles on sex acts is progressive.”

The lawsuit also said that Mr. Lunsford has sent five public information requests to Ms. Jones’ employer which sought to obtain her personal records and all the emails she’s sent and received. Those repeated requests were characterized as trying to damage her reputation and interfere with her employment by the lawsuit.

Mr. Thames is said to run the Facebook page Bayou State of Mind where he posted a meme of Ms. Jones with text that read: “After advocating teaching anal sex to 11-year-olds I had to change my name on Facebook. Amanda [redacted] Jones now identifies as ‘Amanda Beth.’”

The lawsuit said the meme was believed to be removed by Facebook.

Mr. Thames is also said to have “made several statements to the effect that [Ms. Jones] was sexually targeting children; was providing guidance for middle schools to teach oral and anal sex; and was grooming children to be sexually molested,” according to the lawsuit.

Ms. Jones is seeking damages and for a judge to issue a temporary restraining order against the defendants that would include preventing them from posting about her on social media. 

In an interview with NBC News, Ms. Jones said that “I’ve had enough for everybody … Nobody stands up to these people. They just say what they want and there are no repercussions and they ruin people’s reputations and there’s no consequences.” 

A GoFundMe page set up for Ms. Jones’ legal fees has raised nearly $55,000 since being set up earlier this month — far exceeding the $20,000 goal it originally established.

• Matt Delaney can be reached at mdelaney@washingtontimes.com.

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