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Fairfax School System, Virginia’s Largest District, Removed Two Books from High School Libraries for Sexual Harassment Content

— January 7, 2022

In September 2021, libraries for Fairfax County Public Schools removed two books from the largest district after some speakers at a recent school board meeting and denounced the manuscripts. According to one speaker, a parent, and a former teacher, who attended the board meeting, the text in the books included homoerotic content and depictions of pedophilia. The books have recently been honored by the American Library Association and are considered to have a special appeal.

At the meeting, the audience has demanded that the board chair remove the books from, the library. Shortly after, Fairfax officials announced that the books are going to be removed until staff, students and parents can review the texts to determine if they are appropriate for the age of the children.

According to officials, the review took up to 45 days to review and the reviewers will be students over the age of 18. Upon the review, the committee will then make a recommendation to the assistant superintendent of instructional services that will decide whether the district of 180,000 dependents should keep offering the books to high school students.

Since the meeting, some of the board members have received harassing messages that contained death threats and threats of physical violence over support of the books.

What are some ways that sexual harassment can occur? 

Sexual harassment or harassment of any kind can occur in many ways. Many may perceive the text in the book to be sexual harassment. Others may perceive that the threatening messages to be harassment. Regardless of circumstance, some of the most common forms of harassment can include. Virginia Law prohibits and punishes incidents of sexual harassment. Unfortunately, this crime is vague and has a widespread nature that commonly occurs in the following places:

Smartphone with “Social” on the screen & various social media icons, sitting on computer keyboard; image by Geralt, via
Smartphone with “Social” on the screen & various social media icons, sitting on computer keyboard; image by Geralt, via
  • Verbal assault in public locations
  • Digital assault on social media
  • Passive harassment through literary content

Sexual Harassment can be both verbal and physical. If left unaddressed, sexual harassment can lead to more severe sexual crimes. Both men and women are vulnerable and susceptible to harassment and can come in many forms. Sexual harassment can be elusive, leaving victims to even question what they have just experienced.

Virginia natives who witness sexual harassment in any way, shape, or form should not be taken lightly. These incidents should be reported and handled with the utmost respect and care. Help is available! You are entitled to peace of mind and protection from sexual harassment! Contact a skilled attorney today! 

Unfortunately, leaving sexual harassment claims ignored or unaddressed can cause worse emotional turmoil in the future. You may be entitled to compensation and your rights deserve to be represented. In most cases, is it recommended to contact the services of a skilled legal expert in these cases.

Seek legal counsel in the State of Virginia today.

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