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Tipsheet

Here’s How One Democrat School Board Member Was Sworn in

Richard Alan Hannon/The Advocate via AP

This week, a member of a school board in Fairfax County, Virginia was sworn in on a stack of LGBTQ+ themed books. 

The Fairfax County School Board Member, Karl Frisch, took the oath of office on a stack of five books that are banned from other school systems for their explicit content.

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“Don't forget that the ‘book ban’ narrative is part of a dishonest political campaign aimed at attacking parents,” Nicki Neily, the president of Parents Defending Education, said on X. “Families wanting age-appropriate material in their children’s schools is NOT ‘book banning,’ it's common sense.”

According to Blue Virginia, the books Frisch used were “The Perks of Being a Wallflower,” “Lawn Boy,” “All Boys Aren’t Blue,” “Gender Queer,” and “Flamer.”

In a follow up post, Blue Virginia claimed that the school board members “brought whatever books they wanted to their swearing-in” and that they “were NOT told specifically to bring a religious book and were NOT provided one.” 

“Apparently, only one or two members were sworn in on the Bible,” it added.

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In a statement to Blue Virginia, Frisch said that the school district wants “inclusive” schools.

“Fairfax County residents want safe and inclusive schools with exceptional, well-compensated educators and equitable access to the rigorous academic and enrichment opportunities every student needs to succeed,” Frisch said.

“I am grateful for the trust Providence District families have placed in me, and with tonight’s Oath, I commit to standing strong for these values and advancing these priorities with my new and returning colleagues," he added.

In a write-up, Blue Virginia noted that Frisch “is the first LGBTQ+ person elected to local office in Virginia’s largest county and one of only four openly LGBTQ+ school board members in the Commonwealth out of roughly 800 members.”

Neily told Townhall in a statement that it's "embarrassing" that Frisch would choose to be sworn in on books that are divisive.

"It's embarrassing that an elected official chose to hijack a solemn occasion to virtue signal over a divisive issue. Frisch has shown that he is incapable of 'impartially discharg[ing] all the duties' of the office, and instead has squarely placed his thumb on the scale, favoring ideology over student achievement and success," Neily told Townhall.

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Townhall has previously reported how the book “Gender Queer” has been at the center of controversy at many school districts. In the recent debate between Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) and California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D), DeSantis brought a copy to the debate.

“I actually have something that I brought that some parents have objected to. So this is a book that's in some of the schools in California. Florida - this is not consistent with our standards - called Gender Queer. Some of it’s blacked out. You would not probably be able to put this on air,” DeSantis said as he held up pages from the book.

“This is pornography. It's cartoons. It's aimed at children, and it's wrong. So this should not be in schools. When people like on the left, say that somehow you're banning books by removing this from a young kids classroom. No, this is not age appropriate. And so we're gonna stand for the rights of parents. I think we need to do that nationwide. I don't think you can have a situation where some states just trample on the rights of parents. Parents have a fundamental right to direct the education and upbringing of their kids,” DeSantis added. 

In July, Townhall covered how the explicit book was being pushed by the nation’s largest teachers union. The author, Maia Kobe, uses “e/em/eir” pronouns. And, the publisher’s website noted that the book “started as a way to explain to eir family what it means to be nonbinary and asexual.” 

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In a recent congressional hearing about explicit school library books, Democratic Rep. Suzanne Bonamici (OR) stated that “this is the U.S. Congress and not a school board meeting,” and claimed that these “draconian” policies “banning” explicit books for children are “being enacted by extreme MAGA politicians under the pretext of parental rights.” 




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