• June 5, 2023

Virginia school board orders library to remove ‘sexually explicit’ literature from shelves

 Virginia school board orders library to remove ‘sexually explicit’ literature from shelves


A Virginia school board is moving to remove any literature labeled “sexually explicit” from its library shelves.

The Spotsylvania County School Board unanimously voted to direct staff members to remove any literature that contains “sexually explicit” content from its library shelves. The order was filed after a parent complained about the presence of LGBT content in the school’s literature, according to the Free Lance-Star .

“I think we should throw those books in a fire,” board member Rabih Abuismail said.


Kirk Twigg, another board member, agreed, saying he wanted to “see the books before we burn them so we can identify within our community that we are eradicating this bad stuff.”

The directive will remove any sexually explicit content from shelves, although it remains unclear how it defines “sexually explicit.” The board stated its intent to review the criteria for material being “objectionable” at a later review of the library’s literary content.

The incident was inspired by a parent discovering 33 Snowfish by Adam Rapp, a book about three homeless teenagers dealing with sexual abuse, prostitution, and drug abuse, on an app that her child’s school was using for literature. Publishers Weekly recommends 33 Snowfish for teenagers 15 and older. It was not clear how old the child was.

An official from the school said that Riverbend High School Principal Troy Wright and the school’s librarians have been looking into the parent’s concerns and asked the board for time to review which processes the library uses to vet literature for students.

One board member countered that request, with Abuismail claiming that whatever processes the school used “haven’t worked” and that the school needed to complete a full audit. The presence of Rapp’s book in the library proved the school “would rather have our kids reading gay pornography than about Christ,” Abuismail added.

By the end of the school meeting, the board resolved to remove any sexually explicit content and submit a report next week on how many books were removed.


School boards have become a major focus of politics in recent weeks. During the 2021 election, several parents took over seats on their local school boards across the United States as parents and administrators argue over mask mandates, transgender policies, and the teaching of critical race theory, which holds that U.S. institutions are inherently racist.

The Spotsylvania County School Board did not respond to a request for comment from the Washington Examiner.


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