Fairfax Public Schools Reinstates Pornographic Books As A Commitment To ‘Diverse Reading Materials’

In a statement published on Tuesday, Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) said it had assessed two novels that had been challenged by parents as being pornographic and pedophilic and had chosen to reinstate them in the district’s libraries.

Following a “formal challenge,” FCPS completed a two-month committee review process and determined that “Gender Queer: A Memoir” by Maia Kobabe and “Lawn Boy” by Jonathan Evison were acceptable for high school students, according to a statement released by the district.

The books will be returned to the school system’s libraries, which were withdrawn in September after Stacy Langton, an FCPS mother, spoke out at a school board meeting on Sept. 23 about the content of the books being used in the classroom.

In prior interviews with the Daily Caller News Foundation, Langton stated that the books represented pedophilia and sex between men and boys, with one book depicting a fourth-grade-aged child conducting oral sex on what looks to be an adult man.

Langton said this in response to the district’s decision: “Please describe to me what do you call this image of the adult bearded male with an erect penis fondling the genitalia of the child male? What is that? He’s twice the size of the other character too. And I mean his erect penis is also twice the size of the boy’s penis.”

Langton believed the district “could do the right thing,” but said, “it is clear to me now that they have no intention of doing the right thing about this.”  “This is about an agenda they’re pushing and they’re not interested in protecting kids.”

During a September school board meeting, Langton displayed illustrations from the literature saying, “The other book has detailed illustrations of a man having sex with a boy. The illustrations include fellatio, sex toys, masturbation and violent nudity.”

Even though the board members cut her microphone off before her time was up, she continued to shout that they violated Virginia law, citing Virginia Code section 18.2-376, which states that it is “unlawful for any person knowingly to prepare, print, publish, or circulate, or cause to be prepared, printed, published or circulated, any notice or advertisement of any obscene item proscribed in § 18.2-373, or of any obscene performance or exhibition proscribed in § 18.2-375.”

Following receipt of the written complaint, the district convened two committees comprised of school administrators, librarians, parents, and students to study and assess the books as “optional independent reading material” for high school students.

Langton noticed that the two novels could be found at FCPS’s Robinson Secondary School, where children as young as 12 could read them.

She stated that she intends to continue the process and fight the district’s decision, as well as “continue talking about how FCPS is in favor of porn in schools.”

She also filed a police complaint after the school board meeting on September 23; however, the police indicated FCPS needed to conduct its investigation first; nonetheless, now that the district has reached a decision, she wants to “confront and address the legality of this.”

A parent of an FCPS student, Thyra Cox expressed her interest in knowing who was on the committee. “I would love to know who’s on that committee because you know, now the police can be involved, because it’s against the law. It’s child pornography and its explicit material. This is a war against innocence. It’s degrading for one thing. It breaks boundaries with children, it’s child abuse.”

“The school board is now officially groomers,” she added. “They’re all child sexual groomers and they’re also degenerates. I have had it.”

The district released a statement where they described the literature as “highly regarded” and “award-winning” with the review committee claiming to have found zero pedophilia present in either book. The statement said the review committee “unanimously recommended that the books should remain available.”

It continued, “The decision reaffirms FCPS’ ongoing commitment to provide diverse reading materials that reflect our student population, allowing every child an opportunity to see themselves reflected in literary characters. 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.”

Due to FCPS Regulation 3009, the ultimate decision to reinstate the books in FCPS libraries was made by Noel Klimenko, the assistant superintendent of the Instructional Services Department.

A statement put out by Klimenko said, “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.”

As part of its investigation, FCPS claimed to have “considered whether the books flouted regulations by being obscene or harmful to juveniles as defined by the Code of Virginia and the FCPS Student Rights and Responsibilities Handbook pertaining to possessing obscene visual imagery as defined in the Code of Virginia.” The FCPS claimed neither had been violated.

According to the book review, “Lawn Boy, which appears in the catalogue of 11 FCPS high schools” is an “uplifting” depiction that “paints a portrait of the substantial obstacles faced by those who are marginalized by society” who realize they are “not alone as they experience similar systemic challenges and societal prejudices,” according to the book review.

A second determination was made by the committee which said  “Gender Queer: A Memoir,” is a “well-written, scientifically based narrative” that shows “the difficulties nonbinary and asexual individuals may face.”

According to the statement, parents are welcome to visit their child’s school library if they schedule an appointment ahead of time and adhere to the visiting etiquette. The principal of Fairfax High School, Maureen Keck, informed Langton on November 3 that parents were not permitted to check out books from the school’s library.

Nicole Neily, president and founder of Parents Defending Education, told the DCNF that FCPS’ actions were cowardly and that the timing of the release was insensitive to the situation.

“Fairfax County Public Schools insists on pushing this graphic material upon our children,” Neily said. “By announcing their decision over Thanksgiving break, they clearly hope that parents won’t take notice. 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.”