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‘This is politically motivated’ | Controversy over Fairfax County school library books

Two LGBTQIA books were pulled and now under district review after a parent claimed some of the scenes were inappropriate.

FAIRFAX COUNTY, Va. — Controversy over two Fairfax County Public School library books led to protests outside Thursday’s school board meeting.

The protests stem from two LBGTQIA books titled ‘Lawn Boy’ by Jonathan Evison and ‘Gender Queer’ by Maia Kobabe that were pulled and put under review by the school district after a parent claimed some of the scenes were inappropriate.

Ahead of the meeting, people lined the street protesting the district while students with the Pride Liberation Project, a coalition of students working to uplift the Queer community, expressed their opposition to the protest.

“I was privy to seeing pages of pornography that is absolutely disgusting. And that I cannot believe is in the school,” Maria Sherwell, an FCPS parent said. “It's purely pornography. I don't care what the subject, the genre of the book, whether it is heterosexual or homosexual.”

Sherwell is an FCPS parent, but many of the people protesting the books Thursday were not.

“This is politically motivated I don't think it actually has anything to do with the content of the books other than I think this is primarily a political agenda,” Diane Coopergould said. “And I don't think it really has as much to do with the subject matter of the books as finding something to create controversy over to affect the election.”

Ahead of the school board meeting, the Pride Liberation Project released a letter to the school board with more than 400 signatures asking them to reject the attacks against Queer literature.

"They don’t bat an eyelash at rape scenes in our English readings they only care that it’s Queer,” one student said.

The books in question are suspended and under a formal review.

“FCPS is in the process of convening two committees made up of staff, students and parents led by our Library Services Coordinator to assess the suitability of both texts for inclusion in our high school libraries,” a spokesperson for FCPS said. “The recommendation of the committees will be put forward to the Assistant Superintendent of Instructional Services who will make a final decision as to whether FCPS continues to stock these books.”

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