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Fairfax County Public Schools reinstated two books that parents have condemned as obscene and pedophilic, claiming that two committees of school administrators, librarians, parents, and students determined that the books did not contain pedophilia and did not violate regulations by including obscene material. Parents condemned the move in comments to Fox News.
“Lawn Boy” by Jonathan Evison includes long sections of a boy reminiscing about explicit experiences he had at 10 years old and “Gender Queer: A Memoir,” by Maia Kobabe includes photos of sexual acts between a boy and a man.
Fairfax County Public Schools announced that it had restored the books to libraries after two committees reviewed them. 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.” The committee concluded that “the book neither depicts nor describes pedophilia.”
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“The robust committee process took place over several weeks and considered whether the books flouted regulations by being obscene or harmful to juveniles as defined by the Code of Virginia,” FCPS noted in the press release. “After careful consideration, neither books were deemed to have fallen foul of these regulations.”
Stacy Langton, the Fairfax County mother who confronted the school board with images from the books in September, told Fox News that the FCPS report is “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,” Langton told Fox News in an interview on Tuesday.
“You guys in the press have been in a quandary since you can’t broadcast the images because it violates FCC regulations,” she said. “The FCC says the materials can’t be broadcast because they’re obscene but FCPS says they’re not obscene. How does the committee come to the conclusion that these materials are not obscene when nobody can print them or broadcast them on a national level?”
“It’s okay for the kids, just not for America,” Langton quipped.
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Fox News reached out to the FCC to confirm whether or not the federal agency considers the images in question to be obscene. This article will be updated with any response.
Langton also pushed back on the idea that “Lawn Boy” and “Gender Queer” are helpful to the LGBTQ community.
“Pedophilia, graphic sex is not supportive,” she said. “You can have supportive books to the LGBTQ community, and I’m not looking to eliminate those.” She noted that her mother is a lesbian. “I’m not anti-gay, I’m not trying to eliminate the LGBTQ book collection,” she said. “It’s literal pornography, that’s the problem.”
Langton said “plenty” of Democrats and liberals call her and say they “don’t want their kids exposed to this in school.” Of the LCPS announcement, she said, “This is LCPS coming out and explicitly saying they are in favor of porn in schools for your children.”
“It’s appalling that Fairfax County’s response to parental feedback is to quibble over the definition of ‘pedophilia’ and to shame and denigrate families who are concerned about this material,” Nicole Neily, a Virginia mother and president of Parents Defending Education, told Fox News on Wednesday. “By attempting to normalize this content – and reinstating these books under cover of darkness right before Thanksgiving break – FCPS has demonstrated that in their eyes, parental input is a bug, not a feature, in the system.”
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.
“Those claims are absurd, false, and politically motivated by local Democrats,” Jackson said. “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.”
Jackson argued that the books “place within the minds of children the seeds of doubt if they are inappropriately touched by an adult,” and he argued that this doubt “facilitates grooming by predators in our midst.”
“The school board’s deluded decision truly proves we live in FairfaXXX County, Virginia, where the school board blesses 12-year-old students flipping the pages on books with pedophilia and porn,” Asra Nomani, a mother and vice president of strategy and investigations at Parents Defending Education, told Fox News. “Even after losing the governor’s race over this issue, the all-Democratic school board has given the school district an X-rating.”
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When Fox News reached out for comment, a spokesperson for FCPS merely referred back to the committees’ findings on the books. “A 2-month long review by a committee decided that the books did not depict pedophilia nor contain pornography,” the spokesperson said.