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Fox News
Fox News
15 Dec 2023


Democrat Karl Frisch was sworn in for his second term on the Fairfax County School Board with a stack of books banned in other school systems for sexually controversial content Thursday.

"He was sworn in on a stack of the five LGBTQ-themed books most frequently banned by other school systems," Frisch’s campaign website announced. "Currently, the Board’s Vice Chair, Frisch becomes its Chair on January 1. He is the first LGBTQ+ person elected to local office in Virginia’s largest county and one of only four openly LGBTQ+ school board members in the Commonwealth out of roughly 800 members."

Frisch’s male partner held the stack of books as he was sworn in. The books included "All Boys Aren’t Blue," "Gender Queer," "Flamer," "Lawn Boy" and "The Perks of Being a Wallflower."

A local liberal blog, Blue Virginia, reported on the story and the video can be found on the Fairfax County Public Schools' YouTube page

Karl Frisch

Karl Frisch was sworn in to his position on the school board using a pile of controversial books banned in multiple districts.

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Multiple books, such as "Flamer" and "Gender Queer," include controversial sexual imagery or material that has caused them to be restricted by other school districts.

"Flamer," written by award-winning author and artist Mike Curato. Released in 2020, Curato's work is a semi-autobiographical graphic novel set in 1995. It tells the story of a character who is bullied at a Boy Scouts summer camp for "acting in a manner considered stereotypical of gay men." The graphic novel includes characters discussing pornography, erections, masturbation, penis size, and an illustration that depicts naked teenage boys.

The book courted controversy across the country, making the American Library Association's list as one of the most "banned books" of 2022. The book has reportedly been challenged in at least 62 schools for its LGBTQ content and sexually explicit material.

Similarly, "Gender Queer" by Maia Kobabe has courted major controversy among America’s parents for being in public school libraries throughout the U.S. and has been challenged for its depictions and descriptions of oral sex as well as discussions on masturbation. The book also discusses Kobabe's journey of self discovery towards identifying outside the "gender binary."

Gender Queer book

"Gender Queer" and other sexually graphic books have come under fire for being presented to children, with the North Dakota legislature considering a ban on such material (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer, File)

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Frisch’s ceremony appears to follow a possible trend of officials being sworn in on sexually explicit books banned by certain school systems.

A new Pennsylvania school board president was sworn into her position in early December with her hand on a stack of controversial books, including "Flamer" and "All Boys Aren’t Blue."

Karen Smith, a Democrat who was re-elected to the school board on Nov. 7, was sworn in on Dec. 4 as the new Central Bucks school board president after a vote by the board. As Smith walked up to the podium to be sworn in, her husband followed her with the stack of books.

This comes just two months after Fairfax Country School Board faced another scandal when a pro-Palestinian board member opposed honoring the victims of the Hamas terror attacks on October 7.

During the meeting, Abrar Omeish rebuked the board for their "sneak attack" of inserting a moment of silence for victims of the surprise terrorist attack and Israel’s ensuing war against Hamas into the meeting’s agenda. 

She also criticized members for using language in the brief commemoration that didn’t "represent all children." She noted she had sought a "statement that represented everybody’s views," implying frustration that the statement did not speak to the Palestinian struggle in any way.

Fox News' Joshua Q. Nelson, Hannah Grossman and Gabriel Hays contributed to this report.

Alexander Hall is an associate editor for Fox News Digital. Story tips can be sent to Alexander.hall@fox.com.