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After public backlash, Spotsylvania school board will not remove 'sexually explicit' books from libraries

The board's attorney says the original decision was unconstitutional.

SPOTSYLVANIA, Va. — The Spotsylvania County School Board voted Monday night to reverse its decision to remove "sexually explicit" books from school libraries after hours of public comment.

The board had voted to remove "sexually explicit" books last week after some parents complained about what they deemed shocking content on sexuality, faith, and race.

TOP STORY: Spotsylvania school board orders 'sexually explicit' books removed from libraries

“I don’t understand. I can’t get a straight answer from anybody—who chooses these books?” parent Christina Burris said last week.

Two board members even advocated for burning the books, with one calling them "sickening."

Since the vote, the board's attorney said the decision was unconstitutional.

Hundreds have also publicly condemned the board, with a large group showing up at Monday night's meeting to do just that.

“I cannot believe that I’m standing here tonight at a school board meeting in America in 2021 and having to talk about school books being banned," one librarian said."This entire concept is so ridiculous.”

One student said they identify as part of the LGBTQ community and have devoted their current project to representation in library books to make every community feel heard.

“The school library, as I know since I’m a library aide, was created to be kind of like a safe space," they said. "We use books to see, to connect to people like us, to see other viewpoints, to teach us how to feel about others, to teach us how to see others’ points of view. But, you are trying to take that away.”

The Burris' --- and the school board -- were particularly offended last week by "Call Me By Your Name," a book about a relationship between a 17-year-old and his parent's adult house guest that was made into an award-winning movie.

They also pointed to "33 Snowfish," a Library Association Best Book for Young Adults about three runaways, "who understand hatred and violence better than love."

When it came time to vote in the early hours Tuesday morning, two board members continued to object to keeping said books in libraries, with the motion passing 5 to 2.

RELATED: Spotsylvania school board orders 'sexually explicit' books removed from libraries

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