In Virginia, Loudoun County introduced “diverse classroom libraries” at the start of the school year in elementary and high schools with books about LGBTQ people to increase students’ understanding and improve diversity and inclusion.
To activists, it was a victory. For some parents, the books about LGBTQ people are “sexual propaganda.”
“I really have a problem with people teaching children that it’s possible to be born in the wrong body,” a parent, Natassia Grover, told The Washington Post. “It is 100 percent a political agenda.”
After the complaints from some of the parents, Loudoun County school officials are reviewing 10 of the books that were sent out to the schools. Four of those 10 are focused on LGBTQ issues, the Post reported.
The new collection of books sent out to the schools included less than 5% with topics about the LGBTQ community. The books are just available; they are not a part of the official curriculum in any way. Still, some parents want the books removed.
At a school board meeting last month, some parents held signs that read “your diversity is perversity” while people in support of the more inclusive books held signs that read “books save lives,” the Post reported.
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) Virginia had already come out in support of the books last month and has asked the Loudon County school officials not to remove any of the already-approved books.
“The First Amendment does not allow the government to get rid of or limit the use of books or ideas because they are controversial, unpopular, or offensive,” the ACLU wrote in a letter to Loudoun County Public Schools Superintendent Eric Williams and Loudoun County School Board Chairman Jeff Morse. “Purging certain books from school libraries because some parents do not like them is government action favoring the opinion of some parents over others. Passing judgments, applying labels and red-flagging educational materials that might prompt uncomfortable but insightful discussions are activities that do not belong in our public schools.”