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Livingston Parish librarian writes of death threats, lawsuits in forthcoming book

1 month 1 week 1 day ago Friday, June 07 2024 Jun 7, 2024 June 07, 2024 6:13 PM June 07, 2024 in News
Source: WBRZ

WATSON — Livingston Parish librarian Amanda Jones wrote a book that is part memoir, part manifesto that will be released in August called "That Librarian: The Fight Against Book Banning in America."

Jones says writing a book was never on her radar.

"I went through some really dark times and I journaled about it. One thing led to another and now I have a book," Jones said.

Jones was the subject of criticism and threats after she spoke at a public meeting about book censorship. Because of the harassment, Jones took off a semester of work.

The first death threat she received states:
“Amanda, you are indoctrinating our children with perversion + pedophilia grooming. Your evil agenda is getting print + national coverage. Congrats. Continue with your LGBT agenda on our children cause we gunna put ur fat evil commie PEDO a** in the dirt very soon b****. You can’t hide. We know where you work + live….you have a LARGE target on your back. Click, click…see you soon….”

Police couldn't determine who was threatening her.

To fight back against the threats, she filed a defamation lawsuit against the executive director of Citizens for a New Louisiana, Michael Lunsford, and Ryan Thames, who runs Facebook account Bayou State of Mind.

"You know we teach our kids to stand up to bullying so if I didn't practice what I preach, what kind of mother or educator would I be," Jones said.
She filed her lawsuit twice, but now she is seeking a re-hearing from the First Circuit Court of Appeal.

"Whether I win or lose is not the point. In court, the point is that I stood up for myself and I'm continuing to stand up for myself by putting my story out in a book," Jones said.

The defendant, Michael Lunsford, says he's confident the defamation case will not go anywhere.

"I like to say these claims she's made about us have been adjudicated in a court of law and found without merit. The judge through this entire thing said it was foolishness and I agree," Lunsford said.

Thames didn't reply to requests for comment. 

Lunsford says the mass attention that Jones has received in the last two years wasn't a bad thing because she was recognized on Oprah and interviewed by many national news outlets.

"She said she's been victimized by all these things. As a result of that, she's raised over $100,000, she has a book deal, she's been on national television, she's been on national news, national programs, and to say that she's been defamed through this process. I think it's ridiculous," Lunsford said.

Jones' book will be released on August 27.

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