Pennacchio sides with parents in defamation battle with Roxbury school librarian

A leading NJGOP Senator is siding with a group of parents who are facing down a civil court case initiated by a local public school librarian.

The saga began back in March when a group of parents — residents of Morris County — were sued for defamation by Roxbury High’s librarian, Roxana Russo Caivano. The lawsuit stems from a March school board meeting during which the plaintiff says the defendants accused her of being a ‘predator’ for having allegedly exposed school children to sexually inappropriate materials. The offensive titles include “Gender Queer” by Maia Kobabe, “This Book Is Gay” by Juno Dawson, “Flamer” by Mike Curato, and “Blankets: A Graphic Novel” by Craig Thompson.

“Pornography, obscenity, pervasively vulgar. Regardless of how you describe them, there are books in Roxbury Public High School that are not age or school appropriate,” explains a local parental rights website, adding that “[i]n our wonderful Roxbury Township we are now being told that things like BUTT PLUGS are reflective of our community. ”

The ensuing court battle touches not only upon what’s appropriate reading material for school aged children but also two sides of the ever-controversial First Amendment coin.

Last week, Senator Pennacchio met with one of the defendants (Kristen Cobo) and offered his support for their efforts to have the sexually explicit materials removed from the public school’s library.

“These moms should have the right to raise concerns about their children being exposed to sexually explicit and highly offensive materials in their schools,” said state Senatoe Joe Pennacchio (R-26) of Morris County. “It should not be controversial to suggest that cartoon depictions of young children engaging in sexual acts do not belong in our school libraries. Unfortunately, we were warned when we held our Senate Republican hearing on parental rights last year that this woke sexual indoctrination of our kids would continue to escalate, and that has proven to be the case. I stand by Kristen Cobo and Christina Balestriere for their efforts to safeguard their children.”

“The New Jersey Family Policy Center stands with the Roxbury moms and their right to speak,” added Shawn Hyland, the Director of Advocacy for the New Jersey Family Policy Center which is also supporting the defendants.

Matt Rooney
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MATT ROONEY is's founder and editor-in-chief, a practicing New Jersey attorney, and the host of 'The Matt Rooney Show' on 1210 WPHT every Sunday evening from 7-10PM EST.