Drag Queen story hour in Greenville

Image: SABRINA SCHAEFFER/Staff/Imagn

Petition Over GCLS Firings

2 fired over Drag Queen Story Hour

April 10, 2019 - 10:15 am
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There’s a new petition on line looking to get two Greenville library employees reinstated to their jobs after the now-famous Drag Queen Story Hour at the Five Forks Branch got intense media coverage. 

Capture of Change.org petition
So far, as you can see in this screen capture, over 2,000 people have signed have signed that petition on change.org  asking the Greenville County Library System to reinstate employees who were removed from their positions.  Jonathan Newton, the former branch manager for the Five Forks Library location, announced via Facebook that he was no longer manager.  Julie Phillips, former branch manager of the Pelham Road library, was also let go from her position.  A third manager resigned calling the work environment that led up to the firings, “toxic.”

Some 50 letters from library employees showing support for both Newton and Phillips and voicing concern about the direction of the library were hand delivered to each of the library system's board of trustees before a recent meeting. 

The petition says that the employees involved did their jobs, followed state law, library policies and American Library Association (ALA) ethics, in order to ensure that First Amendment rights and equal access were protected, while enduring hate mail and hostile treatment by patrons.  It claims the library system acted to damage the careers of some of its most respected managers and trusted employees.

The petition asks they be reinstated, the library apologize and that Executive Director Beverly James be dismissed. No reaction thus far from the library system.  

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