Two of the newly sworn members of the Fairfax County School Board (FCSB) were sworn in on Dec. 13 using books that have been age-restricted in the county’s public school system.
Robert “Kyle” McDaniel chose a book about slavery called Homegoing for his swearing in, reports local Patch.com from Vienna, Virginia.
And while critics of book challenges have attempted to portray the restriction of Homegoing as race-related, critics of the book have tagged it as age-inappropriate because it portrays adult sexual themes, graphic oral and anal sex, rape, violence and drug use.
“We owe it to our students to teach accurate, complete, and contextual history,” said McDaniel about his choice.
However, many parents disagree that historical fiction should include lurid sex scenes in order to qualify it as “accurate, complete, and contextual history.”
FCSB’s Providence District representative Karl Frisch reportedly chose to be sworn in on a collection of “five LGBTQ-themed books most frequently banned by other school systems,” reports local Annandale Today.
Despite the rhetoric, however, those books have not been banned, but have been deemed age-inappropriate for public K-12 school students in Virginia and nationwide. Those books are still available for purchase by parents if they want their kids to read them.
Other members sworn in for the FCSB chose to use the traditional Bible for swearing in, while some chose to swear in using no book at all, said Annadale Today.
In all, 12 members of the school board were sworn in.
That means that only 18% of FCSB members in the progressive stronghold of Fairfax County, just outside Washington, D.C., decided to make a cause célèbre with age-restrictions on books.
Despite the rhetoric of hardened progressives such as the Southern Poverty Law Center, the ACLU and Penn America, politicians don’t seem to have the appetite to really defend the inclusion of these books in schools.
But that doesn’t mean that there isn’t at least a mini-trend in that direction.
Karen Smith, a re-elected school board member in the eastern Pennsylvania Central Bucks school district, used a collection of LGBTQ books to swear in Dec. 4.
“I’m not particularly religious. The Bible doesn’t hold significant meaning for me, and given everything that has occurred in the last couple of years, the banned books, they do mean something to me at this point,” said Smith, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer.
A photo posted on X of the Smith swearing in show a stack of books including Lily and Dunkin, All Boys Aren’t Blue and Flamer.
All Boys Aren’t Blue and Flamer are on the American Library Association’s list of most restricted books.