Virginia Beach School Board Removes ‘Gender Queer’ from Libraries; Other Books Stay

Virginia Beach School Board Chair Carolyn Rye is directing staff to remove Gender Queer: a Memoir from school libraries, following the recommendation of a work group.

“I think the removal of this book is a win for parents and students,” Board Member Victoria Manning told The Virginia Star.

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After Review, 11 Books Remain in Bedford County High School Libraries

Books will remain in Bedford County Public School high school libraries after concern expressed in November public comment. Committees determined that one of the 12 books, ‘Two Boys Kissing,’ was not in school libraries. Parents can ask school librarians to keep their children from checking out the books.

“In December, the committee reviewed one book, “Beloved.” That was the first book that was challenged, and so we looked at that book, and the decision of the committee at that time was to keep the book in all of our libraries and continue to use it for AP coursework at the high school level. The committee felt it had instructional value, and was on the list of AP-recommended books for the course,” Chief Learning Officer Dr. Karen Woodford told the school board at its March 10 meeting.

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Virginia Beach School Board Member Manning Challenges Four Books in School Library

Virginia Beach School Board Member Victoria Manning has challenged four books in the district’s libraries over sexually explicit content.

“I’ve been accused of wanting to ban books, burn books, etc.,” she told The Virginia Star in an email. “However, I am NOT asking for a ban on these books. I’m simply asking for sexually explicit and pornographic materials to not be made available to minors through our schools. If adults want to purchase these books or borrow them from the library then that is their business and their right. At the very least, parents should be made aware in advance of sexually explicit material and be required to OPT-IN for their children to be able to be provided these materials.”

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