March 15th, 2008 04:49 EST
Librarian fired for reporting child pornography to police
Librarians across the United States should report child pornography to law enforcement despite their supervisors' reluctance to protect children, said Campaign for Children and Families, a leading California-based pro- family organization.
County librarian assistant Brenda Biesterfeld of Lindsay, California was fired after disobeying her supervisor's order NOT to report a man who was looking at naked boys on the library's public computer. She called police anyway, who, during his next library visit, caught 39-year-old Donny Lynn Chrisler viewing child pornography. Chrisler was arrested March 4 on suspicion of violating child pornography and obscenity laws. Police also found "kiddie porn" in Chrisler's trailer home.
But Biesterfeld was fired for doing what's right. "She kind of threatened me," Biesterfeld said, describing her conversation with her supervisor, Judi Hill. "She said I worked for the county, and when the county tells you to do something, you do what the county tells you. She said I had no loyalty to the county. I told her I was a mother and a citizen also, and not just a county employee."
Biesterfeld was fired on March 6. The letter from Tulare County Librarian Brian Lewis said the county's probationary employees can be terminated at any time if they don't perform at a level "necessary for fully satisfactory performance in the employee's position." But a Lindsay city councilwoman said six weeks before the firing, she was told Biesterfeld was doing a great job.
On March 14, the City Council of Lindsay has sent a letter to the county supervisors complaining about Judi Hill's "abrupt, demanding and demeaning" phone call to a police captain telling him to call off his pornography investigation because the city had "no business interfering" with library matters.
"The liberals who run the library system in America must stop violating the federal law because they regard child pornography as 'free speech,'" said Randy Thomasson, president of Campaign for Children and Families. "Brenda Biesterfeld will get her job back, and more."
Campaign for Children and Families and Liberty Counsel, a nationwide legal organization, have been in contact with Biesterfeld, with Liberty Counsel representing Biesterfeld at no charge.
Continue reading news release, media reports and child pornography statutes
CAMPAIGN FOR CHILDREN AND FAMILIES (CCF) is a leading West Coast nonprofit, nonpartisan organization representing children and families.