Acclaimed novel prompted Florida teacher to start a campaign against ‘objectionable’ school books

Screenshot of Vicki Baggett via Facebook/Studio 850

When meddling Vicki Baggett, an English teacher at Northview High School in Florida, began whining about the acclaimed The Perks of Being a Wallflower, little did she realise there would be a blowback that includes allegations that she’s a racist who opposes interracial marriage for biblical reasons.

Last year, in a video interview with Studio 850, Baggett explained how the novel, adapted in 2012 for the big screen, prompted her to start a campaign to remove “inappropriate” and “obscene” books—many with Black and LGBT+ affirming themes—from school libraries and classrooms.

She said that by September 2022 she’d identified 117 titles. That’s now risen to almost 150.

The publicity her campaign garnered in Florida and beyond led to some digging into her views, and this week Popular Information revealed that, while Baggett claims she is merely keeping inappropriate content away from children, her former and current students are now saying that Baggett openly promoted racist and homophobic beliefs in class. 

Interracial marriage

Peggy Sunday, who graduated from Northview in 2021, told PI that, during a 10th-grade English class, Baggett said she opposed interracial marriage.

[Baggett] said in the Bible somewhere it says that it is a sin for races to mix together and that whites are meant to be with whites and blacks are meant to be with blacks.

Another student in the same class, Stone Pressley, said that Baggett was opposed to “race mixing” because “she wanted to preserve cultures” and “didn’t want everyone to turn the same colour eventually.”

There’s no doubt in my mind that the bigot would not only like to see books banned, but would support the prohibition of interracial marriages, such as South Africa’s Prohibition of Mixed Marriages Act (no. 55 of 1949).

The Act banned marriages between “Europeans and non-Europeans,” which, in the language of the time, meant that white could not marry people of other races. It also made it a criminal offense for a marriage officer to perform an interracial marriage ceremony.

The law was designed to “protect” white political and social dominance by preventing people from blurring the line between white society and everyone else in black majority South Africa.

The law was passed to strengthen the existing Immorality Act of 1927 which prohibited, amongst other things, sexual relations between white people and people of other races.

In 1971 the apartheid regime was held up to ridicule worldwide when five white men—pillars of the community—and 14 black women were put on trial for under the Immorality Act in the village of Excelsior.

I was there to cover it for the Johannesburg Star, and was gobsmacked by the sheer number of reporters from all over the globe who converged on this dusty little dorp populated by godfearing, racist Afrikaaners.

The trial was abandoned at the very last moment, apparently due to the fact that prosecution witnesses were “reluctant to testify.”

Not bloody likely. Like all fascist regimes, the SA government hated being laughed at, and I firmly believe that the trial was halted to prevent further embarrassing coverage.

PI reporter Judd Legum also revealed that Baggett was a member of the Daughters of the Confederacy, which has been designated as part of the Neo-Confederate movement.

War on books intensifying in the US

In covering the Studio 850 report last year, The Los Angeles Blade pointed out that a report released by the American Library Association (ALA), covering its annual assessment of books being challenged or banned in the US.

According to the ALA, nearly 1,600 books in more than 700 libraries and library systems across the nation involving race, gender and the LGBTQ community, were targeted by conservative groups.

In many cases banning campaigns were led by anti-LGBT+ groups like Moms for Liberty, established to fight “for the survival of America by unifying, educating and empowering parents to defend their parental rights at all levels of government.” 

ALA’s Office for Intellectual Freedom tracked 729 challenges to library, school, and university materials and services in 2021, resulting in more than 1,597 individual book challenges or removals.

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7 responses to “Acclaimed novel prompted Florida teacher to start a campaign against ‘objectionable’ school books”

  1. If it walks like a Fascist and talks like a Fascist then I can only come to one conclusion


  2. David Michael Porter Avatar
    David Michael Porter

    “somewhere in the Bible”??? Can someone say WHERE exactly in the Bible it says this, so we can flush out these argument perhaps with the help of our Christian friends.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. According to GotQuestions: The Old Testament Law commanded the Israelites not to engage in interracial marriage (Deuteronomy 7:3–4). However, the reason for this command was not skin color or ethnicity. Rather, it was religious. The reason God commanded against interracial marriage for the Jews was that people of other races were worshipers of false gods. The Israelites would be led astray from God if they intermarried with idol worshipers, pagans, or heathens. This is exactly what happened in Israel, according to Malachi 2:11. (

      Liked by 1 person

      1. David Michael Porter Avatar
        David Michael Porter

        Exactly: nothing to do with race as it understood today. Thanks.


  3. Vikki Baggett has joined a host of people who are so ready to tell the rest of us what we may read and how we may act. The book banners give the impression of being limited in the scope of their own reading. As for how we should act e.g. inter racial marriage, their decision is usually based on the bible. And that is a source of confusion, contradiction and nonsense.

    If the Israelites would be led astray if they married false gods this makes their God, supposedly omnipotent, seem very frail and vulnerable.

    What is so regrettable is that these interfering busybodies are stopping children and adults having access to some excellent literature. I think there must also be many readers who would want to read a banned book. I don’t suppose there are any religious books on their banned list.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. ” What is so regrettable is that these interfering busybodies are stopping children and adults having access to some excellent literature”. Spot on Broga. The first banned book I read was Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury. It’s set in an authoritarian state in which firemen have the task of igniting all literature. Not surprising the South African regime, which banned around 50,000 titles, banned Bradbury’s book too.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Hi Barry. The banning of books for children can have long term and damaging consequences and this is especial so in an age of television when so much trivia is available. I read somewhere that watching TV can become addictive and much of it stimulates the brain about as much as staring at the wall.

        The concern regarding children is that if they don’t read children’s books, and many are excellent, as I know from my grandchildren, they will never go on to read satisfying literature or non fiction. I read recently that about half the prison population in the UK struggle to read.

        Liked by 1 person

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