A customer checking out books

Florida Teacher Allegedly Asked Student To Check Out Book That Sparked Police Report

Florida teacher Vicki Baggett is accused of directing a student to check out the library book that led to Moms for Liberty members calling the cops. The Moms for Liberty members accused librarians of a third-degree felony for allowing a 17-year-old to check out a book they claimed was “porn” under Florida laws. But now, it seems they were the ones who sent the student to get the book in the first place.

Recommended Videos

Last week, Moms for Liberty members Jennifer Tapley and Tom Gurski made headlines for going to the Santa Rosa County Sheriff’s Office to report “a crime” because a 17-year-old checked out the young adult novel Storm and Fury from Jay High School. The novel, written by Jennifer L. Armentrout, is a fantasy story about gargoyles that had never been formally challenged at the school before. However, Tapley and Gurski decided that the book was “definitely pornography” under Florida’s book-banning legislation and that librarians allowing the minor to check out the book constituted a third-degree felony.

Tapley and Gurski had previously visited the Milton police to report a similar “crime” in the Milton School District, sparking a police investigation. Fortunately in Santa Rosa, the police closed the case after referring the complaint to a school district official. Still, the incident was deeply unsettling as it illustrated how a teen checking out library books can be treated as a crime scene in Florida. It also showed how Moms for Liberty is abusing Florida’s legislation and trying to get librarians charged with third-degree felonies by falsely accusing them of disseminating pornography. However, the situation has gotten even uglier now that a Florida mom alleges a school teacher orchestrated the entire incident with Tapley and Gurski.

Racist school teacher allegedly told student to check out Storm and Fury

As reported by WEAR News, the mother of the 17-year-old in this case is now speaking out. The mother alleges that Escambia County teacher Vicki Baggett convinced her child to check out Storm and Fury so that Tapley and Gurski could report it to the police. Essentially Baggett, who isn’t even a teacher at Jay High School or in the Santa Rosa School District, asked the minor to check out the book and give it to her. Baggett then handed over the book to Tapley and Gurski so they could go to the police. Meanwhile, neither the child nor the mother were told that Baggett, Tapley, and Gurski were going to the police with the book.

The mother didn’t denounce book banning but was still angry that her child was being used for Moms for Liberty’s agenda. She told WEAR News, “I’m very angry because my daughter was used to do someone else’s dirty work. Do I think the book should be in the library? I’m a Christian lady and I don’t think anyone should be reading those books. But I do not think my daughter should have been used to go to the police without her mother’s permission.” The news outlet also allegedly contacted Gurski, who admitted that Baggett had the minor check out the book, but stated that he still thinks it’s a “felony” that the student could check it out at all.

In addition to allegedly getting involved in the Santa Rosa School District, Baggett has been campaigning to ban dozens of books from her own district in Escambia. She is advocating for the removal of a staggering 115 books. Meanwhile, she has been permitted to continue teaching and pushing for book bans despite facing accusations of racism and homophobia from her former students. The students spoke to Popular Information and claimed that Baggett voiced her opposition to interracial relationships multiple times and made extremely racist and discriminatory remarks to LGBTQ and Black students, such as accusing one student of “faking being a lesbian” and commenting on students’ hair and skin color.

It’s alarming to learn that this teacher is now allegedly interfering in other school districts as well. Parents should be far more concerned that a teacher outside their district, who is at the center of multiple disturbing accusations, is contacting their children and exploiting them to push her agenda. That’s far more disturbing than a teen checking out a library book. Meanwhile, it was already bad enough that these people accused a librarian of a serious crime. However, it is even more horrific to learn that they may also be trying to set these librarians up by sending students to check out books that conservatives might label “pornography.” Librarians and teachers should not have to fear Moms for Liberty orchestrating their arrests with stunts like this.

Sadly, in a state that is increasingly trying to criminalize librarians and teachers for educating students, it’s not surprising these kinds of situations are arising. However, it does raise awareness that Moms for Liberty, which claims to be protecting kids, is actually using and exploiting them without parental permission. And that includes putting what they claim is “pornography” directly in their hands, so long as it helps their agenda.

(featured image: Maica/Getty Images)

The Mary Sue is supported by our audience. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn a small affiliate commission. Learn more about our Affiliate Policy
Image of Rachel Ulatowski
Rachel Ulatowski
Rachel Ulatowski is a Staff Writer for The Mary Sue, who frequently covers DC, Marvel, Star Wars, literature, and celebrity news. She has over three years of experience in the digital media and entertainment industry, and her works can also be found on Screen Rant, JustWatch, and Tell-Tale TV. She enjoys running, reading, snarking on YouTube personalities, and working on her future novel when she's not writing professionally. You can find more of her writing on Twitter at @RachelUlatowski.