I Prayed have prayed
Thank You God for all the people who are taking risks to advocate for children in schools. Give them courage and strength.

Something on television caught the attention of Stacy Langton, a mother of six living in northern Virginia, when she was cooking dinner for her family in mid-September 2021.

“Write a sex scene you wouldn’t show your mom; write an X-rated Disney scenario,” read the TV news reporter, showing prompts given to students of a writing class at a public high school in Hudson, Ohio.

“What the heck is going on?” Langton said to herself.

All her children went to Catholic schools before high school, so she didn’t have much experience with public schools. Her eldest son had just started 11th grade at a public high school in Fairfax County in August 2021. A year earlier, he had started at this same high school but switched to a private school partway through the year to avoid remote learning policies brought about by the pandemic.

Langton had hoped that 2021–22 would be his first normal high school year since the pandemic.

But what she saw on television was hardly normal. Alarmed, she started paying more attention to the public school systems and learned about the so-called porn books parents spoke about at school board meetings in other counties across the United States. From news about a school board meeting in Texas, Langton heard of the book “Lawn Boy” for the first time. Then she learned about “Gender Queer” through online videos of speeches at other school board meetings.

In these videos, parents who read excerpts of these two books said they were concerned about the obscene and pedophilic material readily available to their children in middle and high schools.

Langton wanted to verify these claims herself, so she decided to take action.

She asked her son to bring the school laptop and check the library catalog. “Boom, the books [‘Gender Queer’ and ‘Lawn Boy’] came right up,” said Langton. She told her son, “Let’s check these out tomorrow.”

She read the two books cover to cover.

“I was wrecked for a day. I couldn’t stop thinking about it,” Langton told The Epoch Times.

“Gender Queer: A Memoir,” a graphic novel with cartoon-style pictures, tells the story of nonbinary author Maia Kobabe from adolescence to adulthood. The book shows an image of a pedophilic act. “Lawn Boy,” a young adult novel by Jonathan Evison, contains an explicit description of a sexual act between two minors. According to Evison, the scene was about an adult man recalling a sexual encounter when he was in fourth grade with another fourth grader.

Both books were chosen to receive the American Library Association’s Alex Awards, which are given to 10 books annually with “special appeal to young adults ages 12 through 18.”

“You’re just sitting there going: What if your 12-year-old stumbles across this? You can’t unsee it,” she said, referring to the pictures in the cartoon-style graphic novel “Gender Queer: A Memoir.”

Langton’s six children, four boys and two girls, are aged 7 to 17, each two years apart. To prevent her younger children from accidental exposure to the books, she hid them in her car.

She decided to take the issue up with the Fairfax County School Board, as she found the books in the school library catalog of multiple high schools and secondary schools for grades 7 to 12.

On Sept. 23, 2021, she attended her first school board meeting. At the Fairfax County School Board meeting, she read excerpts from “Gender Queer” and “Lawn Boy.”

Looking back now, Langton realized that she had been “naïve.”

“I thought [the school board members] would say, ‘Oh, no, this is terrible. Thank you for bringing this to our attention. And we’ll look into this.’”

Instead, she was cut off.

“There are children in the audience,” interrupted School Board Chair Stella Pekarsky. The meeting went into a recess shortly afterward.

The video of Langton’s speech went viral, and in a few days, she was on Fox News’ “Fox & Friends” program.

“It’s almost like [Pekarsky] was making my point for me,” Langton said during the Sept. 26, 2021, interview.

To Langton, if the content wasn’t appropriate to read at a school board meeting with children in the audience, how could it be available for children to read in school libraries?

“What I did at the school board meeting was literally one of the most humiliating things I’ve ever done in my life. That was awful,” she told The Epoch Times. “Who wants to go and say what I said in a room full of strangers? So, that was not enjoyable. But it was necessary.

“I view it as my duty as a parent. I have a set of religious beliefs where I know I’m going to be judged by God for my actions or my inactions.”

She filed a formal challenge of the two books on Sept. 23, 2021. The next day, Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) pulled them out of high school libraries and began a review process.

At the end of a two-month review process, two committees—made up of parents, students, and school officials—unanimously recommended that the books be returned to school libraries, saying that they didn’t find any pedophilic or obscene material and that the books serve the needs of LGBTQ-plus (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, and Others) students in search of diverse reading material they can relate to.

As a result of the review committee’s recommendation and decision of Noel Klimenko, assistant superintendent of FCPS’s Instructional Services Department, the books were returned to school libraries immediately after the Thanksgiving holiday.

Langton appealed the administration’s decision on Dec. 16, 2021.  FCPS Superintendent Scott Brabrand decided to uphold the decision in a letter to Langton dated Jan. 11. He reiterated the previous determination that two books did not contain pedophilic or obscene material, due to the “literary and scientific value” of “one person’s journey with gender identity” presented in “Gender Queer,” and the “accessible examination of race, class, socio-economic struggle, and sexual identity” by “Lawn Boy.”

Langton may appeal to the Chair of the School Board, a decision which would be final. If Brabrand’s decision is affirmed, the book may not be rechallenged until after three years.

Amy Jahr, a mother of four in neighboring Loudoun County, is further in her “Lawn Boy” challenge than Langton. On Dec. 13, 2021, she received the final decision of the Loudoun County School Board that affirmed Superintendent Scott Ziegler’s earlier decision to allow “Lawn Boy” to remain in the county’s public schools.

The decision was based on a memo dated Nov. 11, 2021, authored by Deputy Superintendent Ashley Ellis. According to the memo, the division review committee members—“composed of three central administators, two high school teachers, and two parents of high school students”—found the “sexual experimentation” between the two 10-year-old boys “wrong” but necessary to develop the main character, Mike, in the book.

The memo also noted the book’s Alex Award from the Young Adult Library Association.

According to the county’s policies (pdf), the book will not be eligible for another challenge for at least another four years, on Dec. 13, 2025.

Jahr told The Epoch Times that the four years limit was by design. “That parent is going to be out of that school in four years.”

Ellis told Jahr in a Dec. 15, 2021, email that the decision was final. In that email, she didn’t address Jahr’s question about the possibility of challenging the decision due to an alleged lack of transparency in the selection process of the division review committee members. Ellis didn’t respond to an inquiry from The Epoch Times.

Parents in multiple states, including Florida, Texas, New Jersey, Rhode Island, and Washington, have challenged either “Gender Queer” or “Lawn Boy,” or both. Kobabe, author of “Gender Queer,” previously told NBC News that the content in the book might not be appropriate for elementary school students but was “integral” to the story and would have been necessary for a young person sharing the same challenges she went through.

Kobabe, in a statement to The Washington Post at the end of September 2021, said that growing up, she was “hungry for literally any type of queer representation.”

In her opinion article published in the Post a month after Langton’s challenge to “Gender Queer,” Kobabe said that pornography was “a common accusation against work with themes of queer sexuality.”

Evison, author of “Lawn Boy”, has suggested that those who voiced objections to his book haven’t read it. “If I had a statement, it would be ‘Read the book or sit down,’” he told the Post in September 2021. “I feel like these people are frightened because they’re losing the culture wars.”

What are your thoughts on the fight to remove sexualized content in school libraries? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!

(Excerpt from The Epoch Times. Article written by Terri Wu. Photo by )

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Maureen O'Hanlon
January 21, 2022

Parents need to establish a coalition that holds elected representatives accountable to protect their rights as parents. Parents should determine what their children are taught, ie reading, writing and arithmetic according to the contract.
They need to elect representatives who will protect these rights. Teachers are not contracted to be responsible for the moral developement of the children who are placed in their charge.
That is the responsibility of the parents. Teachers must not supercede the rights of parents. Is there a need to make law to protect these rights of the parents. There should be a contract with legal representation establishing what is permissible to teach their children. This should be determined by parents and protected by their elected officials through the law. If there are no laws to protect these rights, then laws need to be presented in congress. Parents should have a right to fire teachers who do not represent their established values. The parent alone should determine these values. That has been the contract. Teachers do not have the authority to change what has be “established precedent,” which is what teachers are attempting to do.. Parents need representation in the Congress to fight this attempt to supercede their rights and values as they pertain to their children.

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Mary Ponder
January 21, 2022

These books should not be allowed in any school in the nation damaging the minds of young people with great confusion and danger for

life given by God!!!

Mario
January 20, 2022

LORD JESUS you are the way the truth and the life have your way!

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Darlene Estlow
January 20, 2022

Father, thank you for these parents who are fighting this battle. Refresh them and give them avenues to fight. Make your people aware of what is happening and protect our vulnerable children from this filth. We look to you for the salvation of teachers, administrators, and school board members. I pray for righteous people to fill these positions, who will truly want to protect our children. I pray for those in these lifestyles, that you would draw them close and may they feel your love

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Judy
January 20, 2022

Unless you are following media outlets other than the “mainstream”, “legacy” media, you will not be aware of this controversy. Or it will be presented as harmful and oppressive to people who practice that lifestyle.
I have been aware of this since it was first made public, even before IFA published articles about it.
I have asked current educators in my county school system if these books are a part of their school libraries, and they aren’t even aware of the titles, much less the controversy.
I’ve brought it to the attention of fellow Christians. They have never heard of these books or the controversy.
Worse, neither the educators nor the fellow Christians seem to be interested. Learning now that these school boards have decided that this material can be used is nauseating and chilling.
How ignorant can we remain?
I pray for God’s protection for the parents who are courageously confronting this issue in their public forum. I pray for God’s protection for the innocent children who are being “groomed” to accept this material as a normal way to think and act.
God, have mercy on this sinful nation. Help us, Father, to repent and turn back to You.

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