Fairfax County Public Schools in Virginia announced that two books that had been removed from the district's libraries for containing sexually explicit content will be reinstated after a two-month review process determined that the books have been "deemed appropriate for high school readers."
"Gender Queer: A Memoir" by Maia Kobabe, which contains explicit illustrations of oral sex and masturbation, and "Lawn Boy" by Jonathan Evison, containing graphic descriptions of sex between men and children, were removed from FCPS libraries in September after a parent raised concern over the books at a school board meeting.
FCPS denies that "Lawn Boy" includes pedophilia, saying in the announcement that there "is no pedophilia present in the book."
The parent said in an interview following the board meeting that the books "are actually so much worse than I ever would have imagined. So much worse."
Assistant Superintendent for Instructional Services Noel Klimenko praised the reimplementation of the books in a Nov. 23 news release.
"I am satisfied that the books were selected according to FCPS regulations and are appropriate to include in libraries that serve high school students," Klimenko said of the books being reinstated. "Both books have value beyond their pages for students who may struggle to find relatable stories."
The decision to put the books back on FCPS shelves came after two committees — made up of school administrators, librarians, parents, and students — voted unanimously to again offer the books to high school students.
The committees' decision will hold, pending any further appeal, FCPS said in the news release.
Nonprofit parent group Parents Defending Education slammed the decision to reinstate the books into FCPS libraries.
"The county’s actions are insulting and downright cowardly," Nicole Neily, President and Founder of Parents Defending Education, said in a statement to Townhall. "Schools are no place for hardcore pornography, yet Fairfax County Public Schools insists on pushing this graphic material upon our children."
"By announcing their decision over Thanksgiving break, they clearly hope that parents won’t take notice, she continued. "However, their actions show just how unfamiliar they are with parents: We’re always looking out for our children, and we won’t take this lying down."
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