Fairfax High School FCPS Board Meeting – Stacy Langton – Citizen Participation 9-23-2021

The question this video addresses came up in another thread.

I was asked to name any “gender-bending” books I consider it appropriate for parents to remove from schools. The video names two, “Lawn Boy” and “Gender Queer” which happen to feature explicit sexual content. The mother who objects to them quotes both books, making this video NSFW.

My theory of effective education is based on the traditional curriculum, sometimes called the Trivium (see Wikipedia). Strictly speaking, sex education has no place in the traditional model, because it is irrelevant to the subject matter.

I do believe children need to learn about sex so as to avoid mistakes and misconceptions that can have life-altering consequences, but I disapprove of the two books in the video because they violate Trivium principles. They do so by promoting social values instead of teaching the mechanics of rational thinking.

12 thoughts on “Fairfax High School FCPS Board Meeting – Stacy Langton – Citizen Participation 9-23-2021

  1. It is worth noting that these two books were not part of the curriculum. This crusader found them in the high school’s library. It is also worth noting that her reading the raunchiest sections in a public meeting demonstrates that concern for children was not the driving motivation. It was about scoring points in some sort of “culture war.”

    There is a difference between petitioning the school board on such a matter and unilaterally removing books. On a previous thread you applauded such illegal and uncivil behavior. The raunchiness of these passages changes nothing. Governor McAuliffe was right to speak against such book burning behavior.

    Furthermore, both books may well have realistically raunchy passages but – according to many critics – they have significant redeeming value as contemporary literature. Therefore, the appropriate response is not banning, but would be to simply require parental approval for a high school student to access them. The idea that high school students can be protected from profane material by banning books is quite a bit out of date. IMHO.

    Finally, the Trivium (grammar, logic and rhetoric) is not a realistic basis for modern education. Times have changed since the 9th century. IMHO.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. RE: “Finally, the Trivium (grammar, logic and rhetoric) is not a realistic basis for modern education.”

      I believe it is a very realistic basis. In fact, it was the basis of the education I received back in the day (mid- to late 20th century).

      I notice that you offer no defense for placing pedophilia in school libraries. Instead, you change the subject.

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      1. Literature is a way to learn. Pedophilia is a part of life. MANY of those whom you would protect by banning literature from the library have experienced it first hand. Especially if they attended a church-run school. I have not read either book so I will not defend nor damn them based on a cherry-picked excerpt, but my mind is open to the possibility that reading literature that contains descriptions of it may be therapeutic for victims or arm others against it.

        Banning of books for any reason is a slippery slope that is best avoided. Better to put reasonable controls on access. IMHO. Hell, I would even not want to see books glorifying the leaders of the Confederacy – of which there are many – banned from school libraries.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. RE: “Literature is a way to learn.”

        It is also a way to masturbate and propagandize.

        I’m not in favor of banning books, but if your purpose is to teach grammar, logic and rhetoric, it makes sense to be selective about source material. For example, the Illiad would be appropriate where Lysistrata might not.

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        1. “It is also a way to masterbate [sic] and propagandize.”

          It would be a very backward 21st century teen who thought these books would be the way to find that kind of material. There is virtually no evidence that sexual orientation or gender identification is subject to “propaganda.”

          I am not sure the distinction between the Illiad and Lysistrata might be as bona fide educational materials. You do know that the relationship between Achilles and Patroclus was VERY friendly, right? Maybe it should be banned?

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Perhaps your version of the Illiad should be banned. The translation I read in school didn’t contain any graphic homosexual details.

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  2. What I found most interesting is the head of the school board chastising the speaker saying “There are children is the audience”. EXACTLY the speakers point you twit…

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    1. “Twit?”

      Uh, the books being discussed were in the High School Library where they might be read by a high school aged student if they sought them out. The admonition about children being present was entirely appropriate. There was no need for this person to read the offending passages to people of all ages – including YOUNG children – the way that she did. Her doing so demonstrates a lack of concern about the children she was supposedly there to protect. IMHO.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. High school or younger, they are minors and what they are exposed to is under the parents authority. EXACTLY what you and McAuliffe despise…parents getting in your way of liberal social programming our kids with smut that interestingly you find unfit for repeat in the public sphere.

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  3. Parents have the absolute right to determine what schools make available to their minor children. It is the parents who will bear the consequences if their children are exposed to such information prematurely, and even if their judgment on the books is overly cautious, it is their mistake to make.

    I’m not familiar with these books or their literary value and I probably would be more tolerant than most, as I am aware that the Inernet exists, But I would not overrule a more restrictive parent’s choice as they are the best judge of their own child’s readiness.

    Perhaps school libraries should keep such books separate and hand them out only with written permission from the parents.

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    1. A logical solution.

      But I believe the main point is some parents think that just because a book is in the library, it is part of the curriculum being taught in the classroom. That is not true, unless the assignment is to write a book report from an available resource and the student selects that book. It isn’t assigned by the teacher.

      Book banning and burning are just bad. Period.

      Liked by 1 person

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