Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) announced Tuesday they would reintroduce books with pornographic and pedophilic material “reaffirming [their] commitment to supporting diversity in literature,” according to a press release.
The books, Gender Queer: A Memoir by Maia Kobabe and Lawn Boy by Jonathan Evison, have faced heavy scrutiny from parents who have issues with the graphic depictions of sexual acts in both books, and particularly depictions of sexual acts between adult men and children in Lawn Boy.
FCPS temporarily removed the books in September for a committee to review their content, but ultimately reinstated the “highly-regarded and award-winning books,” and claimed, “There is no pedophilia present in” Lawn Boy and Gender Queer: A Memoir, and “neither depicts nor describes pedophilia.”
As Breitbart News reported, Gender Queer: A Memoir “contains explicit illustrations of sexual encounters, including oral sex and masturbation, involving children,” while Lawn Boy “contains graphic descriptions of sex between men and children.”
Despite FCPS’s denial, the depiction of pedophilic acts appears clear with a graphic illustration of Plato’s Symposium, an important philosophical work but also a manuscript well known for its account of pedophilia in Ancient Greece, in which a bearded man is fondling the genitals of a boy.
***Warning: Graphic Content***
These are the images in Fairfax County Public Schools libraries for even 12 year olds. Mom Stacy Langton showed them to the @fcpsnews school board before @stella_pekarsky and @LJ4fcps rudely interrupted the mom’s 2 minutes. And ran away. pic.twitter.com/LmUoaVRzWG
— Asra Q. Nomani Mama Bear (@AsraNomani) September 24, 2021
FCPS, though, says Lawn Boy “is an accessible examination of race, class, socio-economic struggle, and sexual identity. It paints a portrait of the substantial obstacles faced by those who are marginalized by society.” Furthermore, “The book has literary value as a narrative representing the perspective of a significant portion of students in Fairfax County Public Schools with a variety of backgrounds.”
Parents Defending Education (PDE) Vice President of Strategy and Investigations Asra Nomani described a scene from Lawn Boy:
“What if I told you I touched another guy’s dick? What if I told you I sucked it? I was 10 years old but it’s true. I sucked Doug Goebbels’ dick, the real estate guy, and he sucked mine too.” The “real estate guy” was an adult man.
Gender Queer: A Memoir “is a well-written, scientifically based narrative of one person’s journey with gender identity that contains information and perspective that is not widely represented,” FCPS says in defense of keeping the book on the shelves. “This depiction includes the difficulties nonbinary and asexual individuals may face.”
Aside from the depiction of Plato’s Symposium, an excerpt from Gender Queer: A Memoir includes, “I can’t wait to have your cock in my mouth — I’m going to give you the blow job of your life. Then I want you inside me.”
FCPS Assistant Superintendent for the Instructional Services Department Noel Klimenko accepted the committee’s recommendation to keep the books, saying, “Both books have value beyond their pages for students who may struggle to find relatable stories.”
Both books came under heavy scrutiny after FCPS parent Stacy Langton raised the issue at a school board meeting, prompting the review.
“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,” PDE President Nicole Neily said of the development. “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.”