Va. school board defies parents, leaves gay books in elementary schools

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Charlotte McConnell’s group, Equality Loudoun, wants “diverse” books, including ones about LGBTQ issues, to remain in school libraries. Some parents want them removed. (Jahi Chikwendiu/The Washington Post)

Northern Virginia school officials stepped firmly in between parents and their children this week, refusing to remove two homosexual-themed children’s books from elementary school libraries even after parents complained specifically.

On Jan. 15 a three-person panel of the Loudoun County school board voted against the removal of Prince & Knight and Heather Has Two Mommies from school libraries, reports the Washington Post. The decision will stand for at least a year.

A few months ago, some parents launched a faith-driven campaign to banish LGBTQ literature from elementary school libraries and classrooms in Loudoun County – one of the nation’s wealthiest counties – with initial success. School officials removed at least five books with LGBTQ themes from elementary schools after parents’ complaints about inappropriate content, said schools spokesman Rob Doolittle.

The books — including Hurricane Child, which details a romance between two girls, and The Pants Project, about a transgender boy — have been redistributed to middle and high schools in the district, Doolittle said.

“It has a homosexual relationship, and I know that some parents don’t agree with that,” John Beatty, a subcommittee member and one of few conservatives on the school board, said at the meeting.

He still ended up being the only person to vote in favor of getting rid of both books.

Over the past several months, Loudoun County parents have lodged more than 60 complaints in emails, at school board meetings and through a program that allows adults to request the review and removal of books, Doolittle said.

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