A northern Virginia school district said ‘poor judgment was used’ after it received backlash over a high school library exhibit that appeared to encourage children to read ‘things some adults don’t. don’t want you to read”.
Public schools in Fairfax County, located outside of Washington, DC, were embroiled in an ongoing culture war earlier in the day over whether school libraries should remove books some parents find racist or sexually inappropriate. .
Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Pat Herrity tweeted a photo taken at Langley High School that included posted copies of controversial headlines, including Gender Queer, Roots of Racism, V for Vendetta, Brave Face and others.
The display also included a sign labeling the materials as “things some adults don’t want you to read.”
“Bad on so many fronts,” Herrity said in his tweet.
The sign on the display was a clear reference to how schools across the country have removed books from shelves despite parental objections.
The books in the offending exhibit at Fairfax High School included Maus. The Pulitzer Prize-winning graphic novel was removed from an eighth-grade English-language arts program in Tennessee after the McMinn County school board voted unanimously to scrap the book due to concerns over profanity and a drawing of a naked woman.
Maus depicts the story of the experience of author Art Spiegelman’s Jewish parents during the Holocaust. Spiegelman said he fears stories about American Jews could be the next issue in the school-centric culture war after an outcry over accusations that critical race theory was taught in schools.
The image had earlier circulated on Twitter, generating criticism against Fairfax County Public Schools, already experiencing acrimony and ongoing legal wrangling over its mask mandate.
Carrie Lukas, president of the Independent Women’s Forum, said on Twitter that the posting showed the district “doubling down on its big FU to parents.”
“What books a library holds is debatable, but it’s just ‘nah nah!’ childishness,” she says.
Later Tuesday, Herrity tweeted that he had spoken with the school system and they apologized for the sign posted, saying they didn’t approve of his post and were reviewing policies and procedures.
Lukas also tweeted an email from Langley High School principal Kimberly Greer apologizing for the sign.
“The sign was incongruous with the beliefs of our school and our school division,” Greer said. “Poor judgment was used in its posting and I take full responsibility for it.”
In recent years, school districts across the country have drawn the attention of parents and conservative advocacy groups to what they say are curricula used for far-left indoctrination of students and materials reprehensible reading. Republican state lawmakers responded with bills, and some districts removed books deemed inappropriate.
Nearly half of the nation’s state legislatures have seen 54 separate bills introduced to restrict teaching and training in schools, according to a 2021 report by Pen America. These bills targeted discussions of race, racism, gender and American history, banning “banned” or “divisive” concepts.
In Texas last year, the Leander Independent School District withdrew titles included A brave face and V for Vendetta, reports KUT 90.5.
Newsweek contacted Lukas, Herrity and the school district for comment.