Debate over controversial books once again dominates the Fairfax Co.


A meeting held by the Fairfax County School Board on Thursday turned into a debate and protest over controversial books that were recently released into school libraries.

A meeting held by the Fairfax County School Board on Thursday turned into a debate and protest over controversial books that were recently released into school libraries.

“I am here to give voice to parents who are fighting to protect their children from exposure to pornographic material,” said speaker Lin-Dai Kendall.

It was the first meeting since the board announced last week that it would be returning two controversial books to high school libraries.



The board’s decision to return the books – “Lawn Boy” and “Gender Queer: A Memoir” – follows an extensive review of complaints that the books contained sexually explicit content and were inappropriate for high school students .

“Pornography in our schools is illegal,” Kendall said. “Protecting the innocence of our children is our duty. “

“A small minority of parents shouldn’t be deciding which books are in the library,” Christina McCormick, another speaker, said at Thursday’s meeting.

Speaking directly to school board members, McCormick told them to “remember that your important work is done for our students and not for the politics of a parent, including myself.”

Another speaker, Jane Miscavage, said that “these books have the potential to reach marginalized students who might not otherwise be seen in FCPS’s three million book collection.”

The books were reviewed by two committees comprising school administrators, librarians, parents and students. Their decisions to allow the books to be held in libraries were then confirmed by Noel Klimenko, deputy superintendent of the Fairfax County Public Schools Education Services Department.

“Both books provide a narrative for students who may find it difficult to see themselves and their stories represented in other literatures,” Klimenko told WTOP, referring to LGBTQ characters in the books.

She said no books endorse or promote pedophilia, despite complaints to the contrary.

“There is no such thing as pedophilia,” Klimenko said. “I have read them myself and there is no such thing as pedophilia.”

The books have led to a public debate in Virginia’s largest public school system that has been going on since September.

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