Virginia School Board Calls For Public Burning Of 'Sexually Explicit Books' That They Already Banned
On 15th November 2021
Internet is furiously questioning the decision taken by this school board of Virginia where a motion has been passed by two members to 'burn all sexually explicit books that have already been banned from the school library. According to Courtland representative Rabih Abuismail and Livingston representative Kirk Twigg "we should throw those books in a fire," and that they want to "see the books before we burn them so we can identify within our community that we are eradicating this bad stuff."
Few members of the Spotsylvania County School Board have actually proposed burning books that contain 'sexually explicit material.' To note additionally these are the same books that the school board unanimously voted to ban from high school libraries.
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Apparently, the school board politics in Fredericksburg, Virginia has made the internet reminisce the passages from the late author Ray Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451, a dystopian novel about a society where books are outlawed and "firemen" burn any found.
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In order to remove the objected books the school board voted 6–0 to order the removal, however, Courtland representative Rabih Abuismail and Livingston representative Kirk Twigg went further.
In remarks to The Fredericksburg Free Lance-Star, Abuismail said "we should throw those books in a fire." His colleague said he wants to "see the books before we burn them so we can identify within our community that we are eradicating this bad stuff."
The whole situation turned into a controversy when parents of Riverbend questioned the inclusion of "LGBTQIA" fiction that was made available upon accessing the library app.
Another particular book that garnered negative attention from parents was 33 Snowfish, a 2003 novel by novelist Adam Rapp about three homeless teenagers contending with trauma from sexual abuse, prostitution, and drug addiction.
The American Library Association has recommended 33 Snowfish the Best Books for Young Adults in 2004, for ages 15 and up.
Baker additionally said he trusts school librarians and that it did not cross his mind to conduct an audit of school library holdings:
"I would not have thought to do an audit because I have great faith and trust in our librarians. If we find something being missed in a process, then we do refine the process."
"There was no ill intent here. We don't have all the information."
Twigg however, did not further clear after making a statement that there is "some bad, evil-related material that we have to be careful of and look at."
The news has made it to social media in a negative light and people are criticizing the move and rallying against this censorship
The pushback against literature has become the latest trend and becoming a subject of debate among the far-right amid a campaign by Republicans to energize conservative voters, particularly in school board elections.
Only a few weeks back, ahead of Republican Glenn Youngkin's victory in Virginia's gubernatorial election, his opponent, former Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe accused Youngkin of using a "racist dog whistle" when a woman who advocated to ban Toni Morrison's book Beloved from schools appeared in an ad Youngkin released.
Beloved, the remarkable novel that won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 1988, is the heartwrenching story of a woman haunted by her daughter's ghost who she murdered to save her from being subjected to the horrors of slavery.
Laura Murphy, the mother who campaigned to get the novel banned from Virginia schools claimed that reading the book gave her then 17-year-old son night terrors.
Speaking in Youngkin's ad, Murphy recalls that her heart "sunk" when she saw her son's reading material, referring to it as "some of the most explicit material you can imagine."