Parents Push Back Against Explicit Books In School Libraries

Several hundred Catholic parents and others attended a Warren County, Virginia, Board of Supervisors meeting last week to voice their disapproval of dozens of children’s books housed in the Front Royal public library.

If a list of 34 “pornographic” children’s books remains on the shelves at the Samuels Public Library in Front Royal, over three dozen people have advocated for defunding the library.

The small Catholic liberal arts college, Christendom College, may be found in Front Royal. A large percentage of graduates settle down locally. Seton Home Study School, a Catholic-accredited homeschool distance school with thousands of students, has its headquarters in this city.

During the June 6 public comment period, several parents from the area’s sizeable Catholic community expressed their opinions.

A mother told the panel that sexually explicit material can ‚Äúdamage a child’s psyche.”

An older gentleman described the ideas in the contentious books as “disgusting.”

However, many argued that the library should keep receiving funding despite the presence of pornographic materials.

On Tuesday night, the county board will likely approve a new budget for fiscal year 2023 that includes money for libraries.

At least one local Catholic mother said the first thing to do is to get rid of books with graphic sex. This woman is an alumna of Christendom and is expecting her first baby.

The mother referenced “It’s Perfectly Normal,” by Robie H. Harris, in which cartoon images of couples (including same-sex couples) are depicted nude and engaging in various sex positions. Masturbation and abortion are two other topics covered in the book.

Meeting attendee and mother Colleen DeLaFleur said that it is “appropriate” for public institutions to impose age limitations on developmentally unsuitable activities, much as they do with alcohol, cigarettes, and R-rated movies.

The 34 children’s books deemed sexually improper were initially brought to light by Clean Up Samuels, a grassroots combination of concerned parents and neighbors.

They want pornographic books taken out of the children’s section, for the library to sever ties with the American Library Association, adopt a policy of only purchasing books suitable for readers of all ages, and hold staff members accountable if they break this policy.