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Fairfax County Public Schools reinstates two books despite parents condemning them

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Virginia school system has returned two books to library shelves months after they were removed for being condemned by parents as obscene and pedophilic.

The novel Lawn Boy by Jonathan Evison contains graphic descriptions of sexual acts by a 10-year-old, and Gender Queer: A Memoir includes photos of sexual activity between a boy and a man.

Fairfax County Public Schools leaders pulled the books for a formal review prompted by complaints that they contained obscene sexual material.

But committees of administrators, librarians, parents and students who reviewed both have now determined them to be appropriate for high school readers.

Gender Queer: A Memoir, by Maia Kobabe

Lawn Boy, by Jonathan Evison

Fairfax County Public Schools in Virginia has returned two books to library shelves months after they were removed for being condemned by parents as obscene and pedophilic

‘Both reviews concluded that the books were valuable in their potential to reach marginalized youth who may struggle to find relatable literary characters that reflect their personal journeys,’ according to the news release.

One committee found that Lawn Boy includes themes that ‘are affirming for students’ with marginalized identities. ‘There is no pedophilia in the book,’ the committee added.

The other committee found that Gender Queer depicts ‘difficulties nonbinary and asexual individuals may face’, but ‘neither depicts nor describes’ pedophilia. 

Noel Klimenko, FCPS’ Assistant Superintendent, said in response: ‘I am satisfied that the books were selected according to FCPS regulations and are appropriate to include in libraries that serve high school students. Both books have value beyond their pages for students who may struggle to find relatable stories.’ 

News of the decision has received a backlash from parents in the school system, including from Stacy Langton who led the charge to have the books removed from school libraries in September

News of the decision has received a backlash from parents in the school system, including from Stacy Langton who led the charge to have the books removed from school libraries in September

Noel Klimenko, FCPS' Assistant Superintendent, said in response: 'I am satisfied that the books were selected according to FCPS regulations and are appropriate to include in libraries that serve high school students'

Noel Klimenko, FCPS’ Assistant Superintendent, said in response: ‘I am satisfied that the books were selected according to FCPS regulations and are appropriate to include in libraries that serve high school students’

News of the decision has received a backlash from parents in the school system, including from Stacy Langton who led the charge to have the books removed from  school libraries in September.

The mother-of-six told Fox News that she found the FCPS report to be ‘very intellectually dishonest.’

‘Unless FCPS is using a different dictionary, pedophilia means adults having sex with children, and that is precisely what is being depicted in the particular panel in Gender Queer,’ she said. 

Langton added that the media were stuck in a ‘quandary’ because while the images were deemed acceptable to students, they could not be broadcast ‘because it violates FCC regulations’.

‘It’s okay for the kids, just not for America,’ Langton added. 

Langton claimed that federal agents and unmarked law enforcement vehicles were seen outside a board meeting of the Fairfax County Public Schools last week. Langton said that there was a heavy federal law enforcement presence just days after she and others protested outside the Department of Justice in Washington, DC. But the image that she posted appears to show flowing traffic near where the school board meeting was held

Langton claimed that federal agents and unmarked law enforcement vehicles were seen outside a board meeting of the Fairfax County Public Schools last week. Langton said that there was a heavy federal law enforcement presence just days after she and others protested outside the Department of Justice in Washington, DC. But the image that she posted appears to show flowing traffic near where the school board meeting was held

Langton made headlines in October after she questioned the school board at a public meeting about the books’ availability in high school libraries.

In a tweet, she claimed there was a ‘heavy Fed presence’ outside the school board meeting, with several unmarked federal and law enforcement vehicles around, and ‘even a helicopter circling overhead with spotlight on moms and dads.’

Their apparent presence came days after she and others protested outside Merrick Garland’s Department of Justice in Washington, DC for allegedly targeting Fairfax County parents and treating them as ‘domestic terrorists’.

Langton said ‘plenty’ of Democrats and liberals call her and say they ‘don’t want their kids exposed to this in school.’ Of the FCPS announcement, she said, ‘This is FCPS coming out and explicitly saying they are in favor of porn in schools for your children.’

The federal officers' presence came days after she and others protested outside Merrick Garland's (pictured) Department of Justice in Washington, DC for allegedly targeting Fairfax County parents and treating them as 'domestic terrorists'

The federal officers’ presence came days after she and others protested outside Merrick Garland’s (pictured) Department of Justice in Washington, DC for allegedly targeting Fairfax County parents and treating them as ‘domestic terrorists’

Harry Jackson, father of a student at Thomas Jefferson High School, told Fox News that ‘no reasonable person’ would come to FCPS’s conclusion on the books.

‘No reasonable person would come to the conclusion that those books do not contain pedophilic material, or that they in any way, shape, or form serve to benefit children.’

A spokesperson for FCPS said: ‘A 2-month long review by a committee decided that the books did not depict pedophilia nor contain pornography.’ 

Both books were previous winners of the American Library Association´s Alex Awards, which each year recognize ‘ten books written for adults that have special appeal to young adults ages 12 through 18.’

Parental choice in education was a major issue in the Virginia governor’s race, and controversy over Gender Queer has since surfaced in a handful of states where Republican governors are gearing up for re-election next year. 



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Written by Bourbiza Mohamed

A technology enthusiast and a passionate writer in the field of information technology, cyber security, and blockchain

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