Amid the national uproar about whether to allow students access to a wide variety of books, the superintendent of a Virginia school district this week proposed a sweeping solution: Get rid of school libraries altogether.

Mark Taylor, who leads the district in Spotsylvania County, Virginia, suggested at a recent school board meeting that eliminating libraries would be a cost-reduction measure, saving $4.2 million in anticipation of $18 million in budget cuts.

But parents were out in force at the meeting, and many decried the idea of cutting libraries, saying they are essential and eliminating them would be a disservice to children. None of the parents or community members were officially allowed to speak at the public meeting, but some stood in the back of the room holding signs with slogans such as “We Deserve Better” and “Fund our Schools!”

And just hours after the raucous meeting, veteran board member Dawn Shelley accused Taylor of using money-saving as a ruse to get rid of books.

“I think they think, ‘Well, if we remove the libraries, then we don’t have to deal with those books,’” she said in an interview with Stateline.

Another school board member, Nicole Cole, in a separate interview, agreed that closing libraries “is a further attack on our educators, our teachers and it’s banning books.”

Neither Taylor, nor the chair of the school board, returned calls seeking comment. But Taylor told a local television reporter that libraries are not necessarily vital, since “whole libraries are available on an app” on kids’ cellphones.

Read the full article about book bans by Elaine S. Povich at The 74.