FCPS Defends Sexually Explicit Materials

On the eve of Thanksgiving Break, Fairfax County Public Schools announced the district will return two highly controversial, sexually explicit items to library shelves. “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,” the embattled district said in a November 23 statement.

The decision follows a temporary removal of two books — Gender Queer: A Memoir and Lawn Boy — that many parents considered inappropriate for minors. County parent Stacy Langton raised alarm over the books at a September meeting of the Fairfax County School Board. “The illustrations include fellatio, sex toys, masturbation and violent nudity,” Langton said, in remarks that went viral online and drew widespread media coverage. The outraged mother read highly explicit lines from both Gender Queer and Lawn Boy, before the embarrassed school board gaveled her down.

On Tuesday, Langton decried the decision to return Gender Queer and Lawn Boy to county schools, stating “it’s clear to me now, 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.”

Nicole Neily, president of Parents Defending Education, blasted the school district’s “cowardly” announcement, in a statement issued Tuesday afternoon.

The county’s actions are insulting and downright cowardly. 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. 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.”

Nicole Neily, Parents Defending Education

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