A newly-elected District Attorney in a Tennessee county has denied ever suggesting librarians should be prosecuted for making books containing LGBTQ+ subject matter available to children.
But a resurfaced video from when she was a candidate speaking at a campaign event with conservatives showed otherwise.
In footage taken on March 22, 2022, Wamp responded to a question from the audience about whether it was appropriate to prosecute librarians for having books containing "awful" themes.
The questioner also noted the right-wing group and anti-LGBTQ+ organization, Moms for Liberty, has exposed "obscenity and vulgar language" in said books that were on library shelves in addition to classrooms.
Wamp responded by mentioning she had brought in a representative of Moms for Liberty to meet with the local Sheriff, for whom Wamp was an attorney at the time, to discuss the issue.
"I think that there is going to come a time in some of these books where it crosses a criminal line," said Wamp.
"It's called contributing to the delinquency of a minor."
You can watch her full response in the clip, below.
Coty Wamp suggests prosecuting teachers & librarians for contributing to the delinquency of minorsyoutu.be
Wamp said children being handed brochures with inappropriate content as they enter the school was no different from having objectionable books available on shelves in libraries.
During the discussion, she was handed an annotated book from a person off-camera that appeared to contain sexually explicit images–including sex positions–and held it up while talking.
“The makeup of the books in our schools is gonna change drastically if we’ve got the right people on the school board," she said.
“I mean, that’s the first step, because I can’t act like I can prosecute everybody if I can’t identify a criminal offense.”
“For me, as a lawyer and somebody who’s prosecuted these kinds of cases, you often have to determine who is responsible for putting these books in the school. Is it the librarian? Is it the school administrators? Is it the school board?”
She began leafing through the pages of the book she was given and commented how the illustrations were "terrible, I mean, horrible. 'Cuddling, kissing, touching, and sexual intercourse.'"
According to The Advocate, the book Coty was handed during the dicussion was called, It's Perfectly Normal by Robie Harris and illustrated by Michael Emberley. It is meant for kids 10 and older and teaches sexual and emotional health.
"Yeah, I don't know how that's not contributing to the delinquency of a minor," she said.
Wamp added that if a teacher handed a child something she thought was sexually explicit, she suggested looking at "the criminal statute and determine if the elements are there."
Now she claims to have never advocated for the prosecution of librarians, which contradicted her elaborate statements in the video.
Speaking to Jezebel, Wamp referred to the book she held up in the video–without mentioning it by name–and said:
“I won’t prosecute librarians or teachers for the books that are in our schools, and I do not say that I will in this video."
“The book that I was looking at in this video, which was in at least one of our county elementary schools, described sex positions using photos that could potentially amount to child pornography."
"I would assume most agree that elementary age children do not need to learn about sexual positions while they are at school. That’s absurd.”
A statement from Wamp's representative obtained by The Advocate echoed her position.
"Ms. Wamp has no desire or intention to prosecute school teachers or librarians."
"She will never prosecute them for the books that exist in their schools."
"The book does not belong to her, as is obvious if you have watched the video," the spokesperson said of the book seen in the clip.
"She is not, and never will be, an advocate for any adult giving young children sexually explicit material."