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PABBIS NEWS 3 FEB 2002 - 2 FEB 2003

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2 February 2003


PABBIS Website Two Years Old - Happy Birthday!

PABBIS was formed with three purposes:

1) TO RAISE AWARENESS - To inform people about the issue of controversial books in schools
2) TO SHOW BOOK CONTENT - To let people know exactly what material is in the books
3) TO HELP PROTECT PARENTAL RIGHTS - To let people know what they can do about it

This has been a very encouraging and exciting year. We have made great progress towards all three of these objectives. This year PABBIS made thousands and thousands of people aware of controversial books in schools - in Fairfax County, VA and throughout the country. Using the internet, flyers, telephone calls, and other techniques we have worked, and will continue to work, to let people know about this important issue and what they can do about it. We are in contact with, and exchanging information about controversial books with more and more people and organizations all over the country. We have and will continue to place particular emphasis on Fairfax County Public Schools until they respond to our requests for:

1) Book Selection Standards of Decency - PABBIS believes that “not legally obscene?is much too low of a benchmark for school literature standards. Despite what "anything goes - at any age" extremists might think, children are not just short adults.

2) Upfront Informed Parental Consent on books with controversial content - This would respect the diversity of viewpoints held by students?families. The continued reluctance to do this that we have seen in Fairfax County is very troubling. Educators say that parents have a right to oversee what their children are reading, yet will not disclose specific controversial content. To date their attitude has been arrogant and assumes “we know what’s best for your child.?PABBIS believes parents have a right to determine what material is inappropriate for their children, before they are exposed to it in school. None of this extreme content is necessary to meet learning objectives.

We now have the excerpts from 65 books on our website to let parents know exactly what the controversial material is. You might find some of the material from these books quite offensive to read, but that is the point. Our children are reading this in school. We will not hide from the truth of exactly what is in these books. We will continue to let more people know. The book excerpts are very useful in cutting through the fog of jargon and doublespeak used by some teachers, librarians and school administrators to defend the use of explicit and graphic material. We do not regard books with graphic descriptions of rape, incest, oral sex, bestiality, homosexuality, pedophilia, explicit violence, sex associated with violence, torture, vulgarity, anti-religious material and other extreme content with an everything's fine, leave it to the "educators" attitude.

We are on track with our goals for growth and will continue to work to get more people aware and informed on this issue. PABBIS will continue to fight against books in school that undermine family values and beliefs. PABBIS will continue to fight for parental rights and for age-appropriate book selection standards of decency. PABBIS will continue to fight for Upfront Informed Parental Consent on books with controversial content.

We are even more encouraged than last year by the response to this site and will continue to use it to provide information about this issue. The increasing numbers of concerned parents and the increasing contributions of information on controversial books to the PABBIS website is very encouraging.

Thanks for letting others know about PABBIS and making them aware of this important issue. Thanks for the many emails of support, encouragement, appreciation, and offers of help. And finally, a special thanks to all the parents and teachers who give us information about what is happening in their schools, especially those in Fairfax County, Virginia.

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21 January 2003


Do Parents Know Peter Is In Their Neighborhood School?

This news story is again about an inappropriate book found in Fairfax County elementary schools - this time not at Groveton ES.

The entire book is about a 15-year old boy "finding out" he is homosexual. Peter is specifically noted in the FCPS library catalog review to be for grade 7 and up. The catalog has this book listed under the subject term homosexuality. It is found in Cherry Run ES, Mount Vernon Woods ES, Jackson MS and no other elementary or middle schools in the county.

Peter is very positively reviewed in the FCPS catalog by Michael Cart, the author of My Father's Scar and editor of Love & Sex : Ten Stories of Truth featured in PABBIS News on 8 January 2003 and 13 January 2003, respectively. The common themes in all 3 of these books are sex and homosexuality.

In this book elementary school children will explore a wide variety of perhaps new vocabulary words and their use including variations of the s and f-words, slang words for homosexuals, body parts, and masturbation. They also are references to condoms and sexually transmitted disease. The school children will read about Peter's friend trying to get him to have sex with his sister, Peter purchasing a gay porno magazine and "perving on naked men" in it, and other critical elementary school fiction book learning areas.

Why do these particular elementary school libraries contain such an explicit and, according to the FCPS catalog itself, age inappropriate book. Is this the sort of reading material the principals feel is appropriate for children aged five and up? Are the Cherry Run and Mount Vernon Woods communities aware what their children can read at their neighborhood school?

PABBIS wonders if these books will also be "missing-in-action" when the principals investigate the situation. We hope so.

Perhaps some FCPS educators think elementary and middle school children don't think enough about sex and want to encourage them to think more about it. Or perhaps they want them to think more graphically about sex, or to think about homosexual sex. It is hard to understand what the purpose of a book like this is in an educational environment.

Isn't sex education supposedly covered in the FCPS Family Life Education, a non-fiction part of the curriculum? Why did FCPS spend taxpayer funds to put this book in elementary and middle schools? Why did FCPS spend taxpayer funds to put this book in eight high schools?

Peter has been added to the PABBIS website. See the book section for the controversial excerpts in this book. With the addition of this book, there are now 65 books on the site.

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13 January 2003


Love & Sex : Ten Stories of Truth

Love & Sex : Ten Stories of Truth was just copyrighted in 2001. By the summer of 2002 FCPS had this book in 3 high schools [Chantilly, Madison, South Lakes]. Since that time the book has been placed in 3 more high schools [Annandale, Oakton, West Springfield]. It is unknown how many more books are currently on order, but obviously this must be an important book for it to be purchased so quickly under the much talked about FCPS budget shortfall.

The FCPS library catalog review for this book says some of the short stories "..include graphic sexual scenes, but always as integral parts of the stories." Well this book certainly does have graphic sexual scenes and of course they are part of the story. Did the reviewer think that maybe someone would mistake the graphic sex scenes for part of some other story?

This book was edited by Michael Cart, the author of My Father's Scar, a book about a homosexual college student featured in the 8 Jan 2003 PABBIS News. Fortunately unlike My Father's Scar, this book is not found in an elementary school [yet]. My Father's Scar contained a plug on the back cover from Francesca Block who has many books on the excerpts section of the PABBIS website. An upcoming News Story will be on a book reviewed by Michael Cart, currently in 2 elementary schools, that is about a boy who is attracted to a gay friend of his older brother. It is interesting how the same people write, edit, provide positive reviews and plug each others controversial books, especially those with homosexuality.

Love & Sex : Ten Stories of Truth is about teenage sex, and pretty much only about teenage sex. A more accurate title would be Sex and Sex : Ten Stories. The editor lets us know, "..sex not gone away, it has become a quintessential - perhaps even obligatory - rite of passage for adolescents." The author of one of the stories says, "..like most teenagers, my inner teen is obsessed with sex." In this book you can read about an abortion, smoking dope, erections, sex between boys and girls, boys and boys, girls and girls, a boy's under-the-bed porn stash, graphic masturbation, and explicit sexual encounters.

Perhaps some FCPS educators think teenagers don't think enough about sex and want to encourage them to think more about it. Or perhaps they want them to think more graphically about sex, or to think about different kinds of sex. It is hard to understand what the purpose of a book like this is in an educational environment.

Isn't sex education supposedly covered in the FCPS Family Life Education, a non-fiction part of the curriculum? Why is FCPS spending taxpayer funds on this book?

Love & Sex : Ten Stories of Truth has been added to the PABBIS website. See the book section for the controversial excerpts in this book. With the addition of this book, there are now 65 books on the site.

The excerpts might look familiar to the Fairfax County school board. A parent read some of them, not even the most graphic, before the school board on November 21, 2002. What she read was muted [censored] by FCPS if you watched on Cable Channel 21. When Channel 21 replayed this same meeting on January 2, 2003 her remarks were muted again. During the meeting one school board member got very agitated that these excerpts were being read and wanted to prevent the parent from doing this. PABBIS wonders whether this board member was agitated because she thinks the material is inappropriate or if she just doesn't want the public to know what material she thinks is acceptable for purchase with our tax dollars, and use with our children?

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8 January 2003


And still yet another inappropriate book at Groveton ES

Principal Christine Lamb and Librarian Barbara Russell of Groveton ES continue their full frontal attack on children and parents. This news story is again about an inappropriate book at Groveton ES - My Father's Scar.

This book is specifically noted in the FCPS library catalog review to be for grade 8 and up. The catalog has this book listed under the subject terms homosexuality, alcoholism and child abuse. It is found in Groveton ES and no other elementary or middle schools in the county.

In this book the children in Principal Lamb's elementary school will read the f and s-words and 'faggot' over a dozen times each. This book is about a homosexual college student. The book skips back and forth between his current college life and the past. Principal Lamb's students will read about how he was bullied by his peers, his drunken and cruel father, how one of his friend's liked it when his father sexually played with him before he killed himself, how a boy brutally beat his homosexual brother, his crush on his college professor, how he would sneak away to an abandoned house for sex with another boy, a boys 'coming out' at church, and other critically important learning lessons for elementary school students.

PABBIS continues to ask why this particular elementary school library contains such explicit and, according to the FCPS catalog itself, age inappropriate books. Is this the sort of reading material the principal feels should be "integrated into" the lives of children aged five and up? Is the Groveton community aware what their children can read at their local elementary school?

PABBIS wonders if this book will also be "missing-in-action" when Principal Lamb investigates the situation. Are Groveton ES Principal Lamb and Librarian Barbara Russell both incompetent or do they have an extremely inappropriate reading agenda?

My Father's Scar has been added to the PABBIS website. See the book section for the controversial excerpts in this book. With the addition of this book, there are now 64 books on the site.

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7 January 2003


Required Reading in FCPS - The Handmaid’s Tale

Over the last two years many parents and teachers have contacted PABBIS with concerns about The Handmaid’s Tale. Two months ago a parent of a student at Edison HS spoke before the school board complaining about the use of this book. We reported this in the November 15, 2002 PABBIS News. We predicted the only action this mother gets from the FCPS and the school board would be the usual "tough luck" letter (with challenge form attached). Even if this mother's challenge is successful her child will already be done with this school year and this book assignment long past.

However with the recent school board moratorium on challenges this mother cannot even challenge the book. When this moratorium is lifted will she even have standing to challenge it? Or, since the class will have already completed the assignment on this book will her challenge be disallowed? Or perhaps deemed "not serious"?

The Handmaid’s Tale is a good example of the type literature that FCPS and the school board thinks acceptable. In fact they think it is so good it is required. Not just in the library, or on a reading list, but required.

School Board member Robert Frye has said it is a lie that "...our school system is forcing books with extreme content, vulgarity, graphic sex and violence on our students..." It is absolute baloney to say that the reading of this book is not "forced" because the student didn't have to take the class or that the parent should somehow have omnisciently known what was in the book and asked for another.

Robert Frye says, "The truth is that the books used in Fairfax County Public Schools are age appropriate, support the approved curriculum...." The Handmaid’s Tale is very explicit and vulgar. PABBIS wonders just what type of "approved curriculum" requires the use of this book. Perhaps Robert Frye could explain to the public a little more about this curriculum and why there are no other books that can be used to "support" it."

The explicit excerpts from this book have been on the PABBIS website for over 18 months now. The story takes place in the future where a psychotic, psuedo-Christian theocracy controls every aspect of life. Young woman are used as sex slaves to make babies for older couples. The book contains a very graphic description of the main character, who is the sex slave, in bed with the married couple who own her.

At a FCPS Town Hall meeting on May 2, 2002 to discuss book selection a former FCPS teacher spoke about The Handmaid’s Tale [see 16 May 02 PABBIS News]. She spoke about the obscenities, masturbation, graphic violence, homosexuality, the use of drugs and alcohol, and abnormal sex in the book. She asked FCPS the following question: What are students in Fairfax County being inspired to do and to value by studying books like The Handmaid’s Tale?

To date FCPS has provided no answer to her question and this book continues to be used as required reading. It is very clear that FCPS and the school board have an extreme viewpoint on what is acceptable with minor children in our taxpayer funded schools.

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6 January 2003


Did a Fairfax County School Board official misinform Channel 7 News?

On December 19th, ABC News 7 [WJLA] did a news story about the book challenges and proposed changes to challenge regulations in Fairfax County. During the 6pm News story, Angela Starke of Channel 7 discussed the 23 books recently challenged and reported that a School Board official said, "To date none of the books have been removed."

PABBIS wonders who this official is and why did they misinform the TV reporter? The truth is that many of the 23 challenged books have already been removed from the schools, or have been removed from student access by being placed in the "professional" section of the school library. This does not even include the books that are "missing-in-action" or "lost" and were supposedly not there when challenged.

As part of the same News Story, Channel 7 interviewed a parent representing the "anything goes at any age" viewpoint. This parent made the inane statement that "Every book.. serves some educational purpose or it wouldn't be there in the first place." Well, without getting into the definition of "educational purpose", here are a few facts for this parent to consider:

- In the past the school board has removed book access from certain grade students, so they as a majority thought whoever placed them at that level "in the first place" was wrong.
- Principals are deciding to remove some of the recently challenged books, so they think whoever placed them there "in the first place" was wrong.
- After the 27 October 2002 PABBIS News story on Sari Says, FCPS decided to remove it from county schools, so FCPS thinks whoever placed it there "in the first place" was wrong.

This parent's statement sounds very much like the organizational position of the ALA, NEA and FCCPTA. They are against the removal or restriction of any book, for any reason, at any age. This parent's statement sounds like a twisted logic propaganda release from a totalitarian state: It must be correct or else it wouldn't have been done. Well we guess a knee jerk, mindless position saves people from thinking about things - but it would be a very scary country if everyone thought that government institutions were incapable of ever making mistakes.

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3 January 2003


Another explicit book at Groveton ES

Principal Christine Lamb and Librarian Barbara Russell of Groveton ES continue their full frontal attack on children and parents. This news story is about yet another age-inappropriate book at Groveton ES.

This book is specifically noted in the FCPS library catalog review to be for grade 10 and up. It is found in Groveton ES and four other elementary schools in the county [Brookfield, Camelot, Forest Edge and Haycock].

In this book the children in Principal Lamb's elementary school will read the f and s-words over 30 times each. They will also get to read the n-word and 'faggot' a number of times. The book explores critical elementary school learning areas such as graphic and explicit violence, sexual transmitted disease, and homosexuality.

PABBIS continues to ask why this particular elementary school library contains such explicit and, according to the FCPS catalog itself, age inappropriate books. Is this the sort of reading material the principal feels should be "integrated into" the lives of children aged five and up? Is the Groveton community aware what their children can read at their local elementary school?

So what Groveton ES book are we talking about? It's a book that has been on the PABBIS website for over 18 months. It's a book that was recently challenged in another elementary school for removal countywide. This book was removed from that elementary school after it was challenged and the challengers were told they could not challenge it countywide there. This was despite the fact that the regulation is very specific that any library material challenged for countywide removal must be sent by the principal up to Department level. See the 4 December 2002 PABBIS News and the excerpts section of the website to find out what book we are talking about.

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2 January 2003


The Top 10 + 1 reasons the School Board is "working" on changes to the challenge regulation

Last spring a taxpaying parent in Fairfax County challenged a high school book. His children were not yet in high school - Oh the shock of it! As a result of this one challenge, school board member Stu Gibson proposed changes to the challenge regulation to require a parent to have "standing." Nobody was ever really clear on what "standing" was. The initial proposal of "standing" was a response by Stu Gibson to suppress the right of citizens to complain about how their tax dollars were being spent and to complain about how minor children were being educated. The proposed changes to the challenge regulation were not a result of the current challenges underway.

It now seems like the "standing" proposal didn't go over very well. Either it was determined politically undoable, politically damaging or perhaps just plain illegal when the Virginia Law was looked at more closely. The school board couldn't just decide to let it drop and do nothing because that would make it look like there really is no problem and they were not smart to start the whole thing up. So to continue the school boards expensive discussion, school board member Robert Frye proposed that the regulation be modified so that challenges must be "serious." Nobody is really clear on what this means either. They seem to be "figuring it out" as they go. To PABBIS "serious" looks like "standing light."

So now we have "seriousness" as the proposal from Robert Frye instead of "standing". Don't be confused about this; "seriousness" is just another, more politically correct, way to say "standing." The objectives of this proposed change are to stifle (even further) a citizen's right to complain, and also to insulate the school board from actually having to do their job.

A question for the school board quickly comes to mind. What about the last four challenges - Were they "serious"? The biased department committees that all 4 of these challenges went through, before they went to the school board, were essentially unanimous. Every vote on all four of these committees, except one, disagreed with the challenger. Virtually 100 percent against any restriction on the use of these books.

So in the past, the department committee has just rubber stamped "disagree" on every challenge and sent them on to the school board. Basically, no value added. This is not surprising given the fact that many committee members are members of the ALA and NEA, who have an organizational position against the removal or restriction of ANY book, no matter what. Based on this, based on the department committee's track record, and recognizing the litmus test that the FCCPTA is now applying to their committee appointee's, it is very unlikely that things will be any different in the future.

Department level committees should be eliminated and replaced with the principals of the schools that the books are in. This allows local customers [parents] to know where their local principal stands. Principals of the schools the books are in certainly have as much, if not more, "standing" than biased members of organizations who are on record as being against challenges. Not to mention the blindingly obvious fact that the principals [supposedly] are responsible for what is in their school in the first place.

As Stu Gibson was asked in previous PABBIS News: Why would someone who is a member of an organization that has a position against all challenges have "standing"? It appears to PABBIS that this is because this is the "correct standing", the one that Stu Gibson supports.

So what happened to the last four challenged books when they went to the school board?

- The 1st was removed from MS
- The 2nd was removed from MS
- The third was removed from MS and restricted to 10th grade and above in HS
- The fourth was kept.

The fourth book was quietly, off the public radar, removed from curriculum use where it had been previously used at least three times in the proceeding 2 years. The challenge was changed to just a library issue for the school board vote. This trampled the right of the challenger to also complain about how it was used in the curriculum. Similar tactics were used at that time that are being used on the 23 books challenged now. Whoops they are gone, so you can't challenge them.... but who knows when they might be back... if they come back you will have to re-challenge them... except you might not have "standing" or "seriousness" at that time.

So let us ask the school board directly: Do you consider that any of these last 4 challenges were "serious"? If not, why was the use of most or all these books changed as a result of challenges? If yes, how do you explain the committees that voted unanimously [except for that one guy now in the gulag] to not restrict their use in any way?

The board should get serious and drop this seriousness business. The challenge regulation was revised very recently. It appears the reaction of the school board to a complaint about a problem is simply to make it harder to complain.

The recent open letter from the challengers of the 23 books to the school board, regarding the [so far] 10 refused challenges, shows how unfriendly, obstructionist, tedious and biased the existing process already is. See the 4 December 2002 PABBIS News. The "seriousness" committee envisioned by Robert Frye is already at work. The FCPS standard for a challenge with "seriousness or standing" is simply one that they feel like accepting.

Here are the Top 10 + 1 reasons PABBIS thinks the School Board is "working" to change to the challenge regulation:

Reason # 11 - FCPS didn't tell the school board that they only accept the challenges that they "want" now, and it was not necessary to change the regulation.

Reason #10 - It's a good excuse not to answer the challenger's open letter to them about the FCPS not following the current challenge regulation.

Reason #9 - Gives them a headache to think about why so many books were "lost" and miscataloged. Working on this is a good distraction.

Reason #8 - They are slow readers, except on regulations and the last book challenged that got Stu Gibson going on this proposed change was just too thick... enough is enough.

Reason #7 - They are policy wonks at heart; it's all they understand, not parents or children.

Reason #6 - They want to suppress the right of taxpayers to complain, it is just such a nuisance to listen to customer complaints.

Reason #5 - When they finally realized "standing" was not a good idea, they continued on, on automatic pilot. Better to do that then admit there really wasn't a regulation problem.

Reason #4 - They like to waste taxpayer money, $2600/hour of blah, blah, blah.

Reason #3 - They don't understand that when Virginia State Law 22.1-253.13:7 says "citizen" it really means citizen, not just certain citizens.

Reason #2 - They want to distract the public from the extreme material found in the books.

Reason #1 - They are extremists, who think that "anything goes at any age."

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19 December 2002


Whistle Me Home - Still another "lost" or "missing-in-action" book at Groveton ES?

Principal Lamb of Groveton ES continues her full frontal attack on children and parents. This news story is about yet another age-inappropriate book at Groveton ES.

Whistle Me Home, a book specifically noted by the FCPS library catalog system as for grade 7 and up, is only found in one elementary school in the county - Groveton ES. This book is only found in a few Middle Schools [including Longfellow, Stone, Sandburg].

The book is about a high school girl who realizes her boyfriend is homosexual. It is a short, easy to read book. Principal Lamb's students can read the s and f-words, about erections, the girl's constant vodka drinking, how she was sexually molested by a teenager over the course of first grade, how she can't arouse her boyfriend when they attempt sex, how her boyfriend had sex with lots of older men, how he was 'not stupid' and used condoms, and finally at the end about her boyfriends new boyfriend.

PABBIS continues to ask why this particular elementary school library contains such graphic and, according to the FCPS catalog itself, age inappropriate books. Is this the sort of reading material the principal feels should be "integrated into" the lives of children aged five and up? Is the Groveton community aware what their children can read at their local elementary school? PABBIS wonders if this book will also be "missing-in-action" when Principal Lamb investigates the situation.

Whistle Me Home has been added to the PABBIS website. See the book section for the controversial excerpts in this book. With the addition of this book, there are now 63 books on the site.

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16 December 2002


Another "lost" or "missing-in-action" book at Groveton ES?

In the 4 December 2002 PABBIS NEWS we reported on how the books challenged at Groveton ES were all reported by the principal as "lost." In this amazing coincidence all four copies of the three books challenged at Groveton ES [Tenderness, Girl Goddess #9 and The Rose and the Beast ] were "missing-in-action" according to Principal Christine Lamb.

A December 5, 2002 story in the Mount Vernon Voice reported Principal Lamb was named Administrator of the Year for 2002-03 by the Greater Washington Reading Council. PABBIS wonders if keeping track of books purchased with taxpayer money was one of the factors considered for this award.

The article noted that at Groveton ES "reading has been integrated into everything the students do." PABBIS wonders what books Principal Lamb thinks are appropriate for integrating into the lives of K - 6 grade students.

Uncle Vampire, a book specifically noted by the FCPS library catalog system as for grade 7-10, is only found in Groveton ES and one other elementary school [Lees Corner] in the county. This book is only found in one Middle School [Key MS]. The school system's own review indicates "horror fans will be attracted to and misled by this title."

PABBIS certainly agrees with that. The entire plot of the book focuses on the life of a high school girl who is being sexually abused by her uncle. It is a short, easy to read book, with a title and cover art that would attract a child looking for a Goosebumps or Fear Street type horror book. The twist is that a young reader most likely would not even know until near the end of the book that the girl's uncle is not a vampire, but is instead sexually abusing her. Principal Lamb's students can read the s and f-words, about the drug using brother, pill popping mother, imaginary sister and innovative use of prayer such as: "Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil--.. voices in my head shouting: Kill her.. Grammy's dead.. lying at my feet. My shoes are soaked with blood."

The Mount Vernon Voice article reported Principal Lamb as saying, "We have built an inclusive model that has all teachers supporting reading. We have embraced this as a full-frontal attack." To PABBIS it appears that Principal Lamb's selection of Uncle Vampire is a full-frontal attack on children and parents. PABBIS continues to ask why this particular elementary school library contains such graphic and, according to the FCPS catalog itself, age inappropriate books. Is this the sort of reading material the principal feels should be "integrated into" the lives of children aged five and up? Is the Groveton community aware what their children can read at their local elementary school? PABBIS wonders if this book will also be "missing-in-action" when Principal Lamb investigates the situation.

Rainbow Boys coming soon to a school near you?

In the 1 July 2002 PABBIS NEWS we reported how PFLAG, a homosexual advocacy group, was coordinating a book drive in Fairfax County. PFLAG was asking people to donate money to buy gay-related theme books. The goal was to give these books to Fairfax County schools. The 8 October 2002 PABBIS NEWS reported on a letter from Dr. Domenech to GLSEN member and Fairfax County teacher Robert Rigby saying he was welcome to present "Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgendered and Questioning" interest books to FCPS libraries.

In a similar book donation drive conducted for the Washington, DC schools, the PFLAG website reports that Rainbow Boys, Two Teenagers in Twenty: Writings by Gay and Lesbian Youth, and From the Notebooks of Melanin Sun were the three gay-themed fiction books donated. PABBIS decided to take a closer look at one of these books; Rainbow Boys. Just published in the Fall of 2001, five copies of this book were immediately purchased by FCPS for Annandale, Fairfax, Madison, Mount Vernon and Woodson high schools. Recently another copy was purchased [or donated?] for West Springfield HS.

Rainbow Boys, about 3 high school homosexual boys, is filled with controversial material and constant use of the s and f-words. You can read about how one boy has a steady girlfriend, but dreams about sex with other guys, heterosexual and homosexual oral sex, homosexual porno magazines, and a boy who has unprotected anal sex with an older man [who he just met through the internet] at the house of the older man's lover, who is out of town.

Well, we think you get the idea.

If Dr. Domenech is successful in pulling off this book donation from GLSEN and PFLAG, Rainbow Boys will be coming soon to a school near you.

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Both Uncle Vampire and Rainbow Boys have been added to the PABBIS website. See the book section for the controversial excerpts in these books. With the addition of these two books, there are now 62 books on the site.

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4 December 2002


Book Challenge Update News

In the 18 October PABBIS NEWS we reported on 23 book challenges being made to Fairfax County elementary and middle school books. We said we would keep you informed on the status of these challenges and noted that in the past FCPS has handled challenges in a slow, tedious, biased, and bureaucratic manner. We also noted there were moves underway to limit a citizen's right to challenge books. Well it looks like all these things are happening.

Before formal countywide challenges can be submitted there must be a conference with the principal of a school the book is in. Two thumbs up for those principals that thought that some of these challenged books were inappropriate for their students and are removing the books. Unfortunately FCPS is conducting obstructionist tactics at many of the schools, sometimes it appears even over the objections of the principals. Shame on the FCPS bureaucrats who do not want their viewpoint and position subject to public scrutiny and discussion.

Ten of the fifteen challenges submitted to date are being refused by FCPS for a number of bogus reasons. For seven of the books, FCPS has said that their library catalog system was wrong and the books were really not there or were in a "special" section of the library. Wow, sort of boggles the mind how the catalog system can be wrong on almost half the books! Also leads to the following question: If half the books are not where the catalog system says, how do parents know that these books are not in many other schools that the FCPS catalog doesn't say that they are in? The other 3 books challenged were refused at schools where the principal decided to remove the book. Since the book was removed at the school where the countywide challenge was submitted, FCPS is refusing to accept the countywide challenge, despite the fact that their acceptance is required by the regulation.

It appears to PABBIS that FCPS is cherry picking the challenges that they feel like accepting. When asked about this the challengers said, " It seems very convenient that so many books were miscataloged. FCPS doesn't want the public to know what is in these elementary and middle school books. It also appears that FCPS not only wants to continue to use these books, but wants to stifle and crush a citizen's right to even complain about them. We have written an open letter to the school board about these ten refused challenges."

See the open letter to the school board from the challengers LettertoSchoolBoard1dec02 and its attachment LettertoSchoolBoardAttachment1Dec02 for extensive details on the refused challenges.

We will continue to keep you informed about the status of these challenges as they proceed. In related news the school board is meeting this month to discuss how to even further limit the right of a citizen to complain about books in FCPS.

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15 November 2002


PABBIS NEWS - Usual News, Ironic News, Good News, Old News, Why are we surprised about this News, and Book challenge update News


Usual News - Or, there he goes again. Stu Gibson has proposed limiting the right to challenge books to certain citizens with special "standing." In a 11 Nov 2002 School Board Working session this issue was discussed. Stu Gibson said he initiated this proposal because earlier this year a parent whose FCPS children were not yet in high school had challenged a book that was in high school. While it was never defined exactly what "standing" would be required to challenge a book it is not surprising to us that Mr. Gibson would try to suppress the right of citizens to formally complain about his "anything goes at any age" viewpoint on school books. In the meeting he actually equated a public school library for children with a public library and seemed to think that if a book was not in a public school library that there would be no more access to that book at all. He seemed to have forgotten about public libraries, bookstores and the like.

In another inexplicable statement Gibson indicated that the founding fathers would have supported "anything goes at any age" in public school libraries. PABBIS has a very hard time envisioning the founding fathers fighting for the right to keep books with things like oral sex in our public schools. Not to mention purchasing them with taxpayer money. Maybe Gibson forgot that in the late 1700's public schools didn't even exist.

PABBIS thinks creating a very small "special" class of citizens who are the only ones empowered to challenge a book is a move away from the so-called accountability that the School Board is always talking about. It sounds like Stalinism, where certain citizens had less rights than others, but everyone was supposedly equal. It is also very likely illegal since Virginia Law 22.1-253.13:7 requires local school boards to set up procedures for challenges "giving consideration to the views of teachers, parents, and other concerned citizens." It does not say "special" citizens, "certain citizens", or citizens "deemed worthy by Mr. Gibson."

While many school board members indicated [for various reasons] they had problems with a special class of citizen "standing", four others [Frye, Heastie, Smith and Strauss] clearly voiced support for the proposal. Very scary. Hmmm, wonder if people without "standing" will be able to donate books to the FCPS.

Ironic News - A letter from School Board member Robert Frye was published in the Connection newspapers on 6 Nov 2002. In the letter [amongst some other lies he told] Frye said it was a lie that "...our school system is forcing books with extreme content, vulgarity, graphic sex and violence on our students and taking away parent participation in the selection of books to be used in our schools. The truth is that the books used in Fairfax County Public Schools are age appropriate, support the approved curriculum...."

The very next day during citizen participation at the school board meeting, an angry mother read sexually explicit scenes from "A Handmaid's Tale", a book that was REQUIRED reading in a high school English class, and demanded that the school board take action. See the excerpts. This book is very explicit and vulgar. Guess Mr Frye thinks there is some difference between REQUIRED and forced.

Despite all of Stu Gibson's baloney about the FCPS sometimes taking action on a book complaint without an official challenge we bet the only action this mother gets is the usual "tough luck" letter (with challenge form attached). Perhaps Dr. Domenech will even sign the letter himself to show his high level personal concern. We doubt that this mother will find comfort in the fact that if her challenge is successful her child will already be done with this school year and this book assignment long past.

Good News - PABBIS has learned that FCPS removed the book Sari Says that we reported about in our last News Story. While this is good news we wonder who approved this extreme book for our schools in the first place. Will Dr. Domenech ever explain to citizens why it was selected and purchased? Or does accountability only apply to some things?

Old News - The Fall 2002 Mediagram of the Virginia Educational Media Association (VEMA) reported on a local chapter meeting at Centreville High School on April 6 2002. The Mediagram says, "Their two most popular sessions for Fall showcases were authors Laura Elliott (Under the War Torn Sky) and John Gilstrap (PABBIS: The Worst Obscenity of All)."

Guess some folks are under the wrong impression that the f-word, oral sex, pedophilia and other extreme material in books are something they might be concerned about. But no, it seems VEMA thinks it is the P-word. Oh nooooo, it's the P-word. Unfortunately for those who do not have an "anything goes at any age" viewpoint on school books many members of VEMA are working for FCPS. They obviously have a biased viewpoint when sitting on a book selection or reconsideration committee. Which leads to our next story.....

Why are we surprised about this News - PABBIS learned, from discussion at the 11 Nov 02 school board session, that the FCCPTA [see 16 Sep 2002 PABBIS News] who has the right to appoint a representative parent to the department review committee for challenged books is up to no good. The FCCPTA is applying a litmus test to all parents they are considering for appointment. PABBIS has heard they are even asking potential appointees to sign a statement agreeing to support [vote for] the FCCPTA position of "anything goes at any age"! Unbelievable!

In our previous news story on the FCCPTA we asked them: "Is your washing your hands on this matter consistent with PTA objectives?" Asking their appointees to sign a statement saying they will support the use of a book in school, that they are supposedly on a committee to review, BEFORE THEY HAVE EVEN READ THE BOOK OR EVEN KNOW WHAT BOOK IT IS, is clearly an FCCPTA position directly in conflict with the national PTA organizations stated objectives. Wonder if Stu Gibson will be concerned about this or if the FCCPTA reps have "standing"?

Book challenge update News - Stories containing misinformation about the 23 books challenged [see 18 Sep 2002 PABBIS News] in FCPS abound. We will provide an accurate update on this challenge as soon as we are able. The challengers are currently in the middle of the bureaucratic quagmire and are unable to confirm or deny the constantly changing number of challenges that the FCPS staff keeps reporting. However, they do note that the number of challenges that reaches the school board is also dependent on how the departmental committee and schools below the school board handle them.

In the past, the department committee has just rubber stamped "disagree" on every challenge and sent them on to the school board. Basically, no value added. As far as PABBIS can determine only one voting member ever agreed with a challenger. Based on this track record and the litmus test that the FCCPTA is now applying, it is unlikely that things will be any different this time. This committee should be dissolved and replaced with the principals of the schools that the books are in so their local customers [parents] will know where their local principal stands. Principals of the schools the books are in certainly have a lot more "standing" then biased members of organizations who are on record as being against any attempt at removal of books from any school library or curriculum or even restriction, labeling or placement in another part of the library. Question for Stu Gibson: Why would someone who is a member of an organization that has an "anything goes at any age" position have 'standing'? is it because this is the "correct standing", one that you [and the founding fathers, of course] support?

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27 October 2002


Book with how to instructions on sex acts now in Fairfax County Middle School Library


PABBIS has learned that a book with very specific how to instructions on sex acts is in the Fairfax County Middle School Library system. Sari Says, The REAL DIRT on Everything from Sex to School, first published just last year, is already in the FCPS library system. PABBIS wonders who approved this book for our schools? Was it purchased or donated? Are there more copies currently on order? Will Dr. Domenech ever have to explain to citizens why it was selected? Is this book representative of what he and Mr. Gibson consider decent enough, since not legally obscene? Will it replace or supplement Family Life Education in middle school soon?

Sari is an on-line advice columnist for teens. In this book, cataloged as non-fiction, she answers various questions. About 25 percent of the book is her advice on sex. The book the reader gives instructions on various sex acts, with very specific details.

The FCPS library catalog system didn't catalog this book under the term sex manual, or sex instruction. The subject terms in the FCPS catalog are very innocuous: Teenagers--Life skills guides, Interpersonal relations in adolescence, Adolescent psychology and Life skills. Must be some new eduspeak terms to deliberately mislead parents. Similar to the way books with pedophilia sometimes are filed under the term: Love Story.

This book has been added to the PABBIS website. See there for numerous other controversial excerpts. With the addition of this book, there are now 60 books on the site.

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18 October 2002


Twenty-Three Books Challenged in Fairfax County Elementary and Middle Schools


Virginia Code (Law) 22.1-253.13:7 requires local school boards set up procedures for challenges to controversial material giving consideration to the views of teachers, parents, and other concerned citizens. Members of PABBIS, exercising their right under this law, and exercising their right to free speech, have initiated challenges to 23 books in Fairfax County.

The challenges ask that these books be removed from Fairfax County K - 8 grade schools. The challenges also request that the FCPS Superintendent explain to the school board why these books were placed in these schools and identify who placed them there.

Since the National Education Association (NEA) and American Library Association (ALA) are officially against any attempts at removal of books from any school, the challenges request that evaluators involved not be members of these organizations, as that would constitute discrimination and bias in evaluating these requests.

The challenges note that Virginia Code (22.1-208) says that the entire scheme of instruction in the public schools shall emphasize moral education through lessons given by teachers and imparted by appropriate reading selections. They also note that 8VAC20-170-10 places with the local school board responsibility for placing special emphasis on the thorough evaluation of materials related to controversial or sensitive topics such as sex education, moral education, and religion.

The 23 books that are being challenged and the schools that the challenges were initiated in are as follows:

A Time For Dancing - Oakton ES
Beloved - Rocky Run MS
Fallen Angels - Waynewood ES
Fools Crow - Crossfield ES
Girl Goddess #9 - Groveton ES
Growing up Chicana/o - Irving MS
Heroes - Glasgow MS
How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents - Franklin MS
I Know why the Caged Bird Sings - Sunrise Valley ES
I was a Teenage Fairy - Poe MS
Like Water for Chocolate - Key MS
Shogun - Lanier MS
Tenderness - Groveton ES
The Bluest Eye - Rocky Run MS
The Chocolate War - Sunrise Valley ES
The Color Purple - Thoreau MS
The Perks of Being a Wallflower - Rocky Run MS
The Rose and the Beast - Groveton ES
The Silver Pigs - Silverbrook ES
The Things They Carried - Thoreau MS
Thousand Pieces of Gold - Irving MS
When I was Puerto Rican - Hughes MS
Witch Baby - Springfield Estates ES

See what is in these books on the excerpt section of the PABBIS website. You'll find rape, incest, oral sex, alcohol and drug abuse, bestiality, pedophilia, homosexuality, sex associated with violence, torture, excessive vulgarity, anti-religious material and other extreme content.

We will keep you informed about the status of these 23 challenges as they proceed. In the past FCPS has handled challenges in a slow, tedious, biased, and bureaucratic manner. Recently the school board chair has even discussed limiting a citizens right to challenge books. Not only does it seem that there is an 'anything goes, at any age' standard in place, but the Superintendent and board chair don't want to have to listen to any citizen complaints about it!

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14 October 2002


PABBIS Adds Four New Books


Four new books have been added to the PABBIS website. With these 4 new books, there are now 59 books on the site.

These books were all copyrighted between 1996 and 2000, but FCPS has already purchased 96 copies of these four titles. Who knows how many more are on order. Two of these books are indicated as Grade 9 and up in the FCPS library catalog, and one book indicates age 14 and up inside it's jacket. Despite this, all four are in county middle schools (some Grade 6-8), and three of the four are in the elementary schools! Three of the four books contain "alternative" sexual orientation material such as a 12-year old girl who finds out that one of her two "moms" is really her "dad", who had a sex change operation after conceiving her. None of these four books are identified in the FCPS library catalog system by terms (homosexuality, lesbian, pedophilia, gay, etc.) that indicate their "alternative" sexual orientation content. Some of the material in these books is very graphic.

For example, in The Perks of Being a Wallflower (c1999, 25 copies) one finds sexual acts between teenagers, masturbation, oral sex, a great deal of profanity, homosexual acts between teenaged boys including anal sex, drug and alcohol use, homosexual acts between men and boys, sex between a boy and a dog, female masturbation using an object and other very controversial and explicit material. In a 22 October 2001 School Board meeting (on public record that was taped) the student representative said that this book was "trash." A few minutes later he was rebuked by Dr. Domenech, the Fairfax County Superintendent of schools, who said there wasn't any trash in FCPS. See what is in this book yourself and make your determination.

The three other new books; Girl Goddess #9, The Rose and the Beast, and Tenderness also contain very controversial material. See the excerpts. Find out what your child is reading!

FCPS has a library catalog system that doesn't indicate extreme "alternative" sexual orientation content, librarians who don't follow the grade levels of their own catalog system, teachers who whine about actually having to read books before using them as part of their class, a Superintendent of schools who thinks nothing is trash and "anything goes" with K-12 children, and a School Board who ignored over 1500 citizens who requested that they develop book selection Standards of Decency -- absolutely amazing! Dr. Domenech's remark about no trash in FCPS came at the same meeting where the request for Standards of Decency was being discussed and ignored. Perhaps Dr. Domenech has the same viewpoint as Stuart Gibson, the FCPS board chair, who thinks that any book not technically legally obscene is acceptable in the schools, at any age!

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8 October 2002


Dr. Domenech letter to Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLESN)


In a 1 July 02 PABBIS NEWS story we reported FCPS officials are actively soliciting donations of books with gay-related themes. PABBIS has now obtained a copy of a 31 May letter from Dr. Domenech, Fairfax County Superintendent of Schools, to Robert Rigby, a gay advocate teacher, care of GLESN. In this letter Dr. Domenech tells Robert Rigby he is welcome to present Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgendered and Questioning interest books to FCPS libraries.

In his letter, Dr. Domenech also provides points of contact for assistance in distributing brochures, discusses developing employee sensitivity training and courses, and discusses working together on workshops and assemblies for students.

As was said in the previous news story, absolutely amazing! FCPS officials, who will not, or cannot, describe how books are selected, approved and acquired for the school libraries are actively soliciting donations of books with gay-related themes. The FCPS request for gay-related theme book donations was driven by the planned new policy on "sexual orientation." While over 1500 citizens who requested the FCPS Board develop book selection Standards of Decency were ignored, a few gay teachers and advocates were quickly accomodated. FCPS seems intent on continuing to discriminate against those offended by the extremely graphic sex and violence in some books. The FCPS anti-discrimination policy only seems to work one way.

Click here to see the letter from Dr. Domenech: Domenech to GLESN 31may02 (300k)

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2 October 2002


There They Go Again; Are R-rated Movies Coming To A Fairfax County School Near You?


Did you know that Dr Domenech's staff is currently working changes to a FCPS regulation to allow the use of R-rated movies in high school and PG-13 movies in middle school? The revision to this regulation will not be subject to a school board vote. However Stu Gibson, Catherine Belter and some other School Board officials have already expressed support for this change.

Why are Dr. Domenech, Stu Gibson, and Catherine Belter pushing for this change? Their "anything goes" extremist position is very apparent. These officials seem to think that "Hollywood standards" are too strict for children in Fairfax County Schools. Some FCPS middle schools now include 6th grade, which means 11-year old children might see PG-13 movies, and by "Hollywood standards" R-rated movies would require most high school age children to be accompanied by their parents. Everyone knows that R-rated movies contain very explicit and controversial material. Most people are aware that PG-13 movies have become more and more explicit, especially in the last 5 years. Because of this, some people have started referring to PG-13 movies as R-13.

PABBIS is against the use of R-rated movies in high school and PG-13 movies in middle school. PABBIS questions the motives behind this proposal and thinks FCPS should concentrate on promoting standards of learning instead of pushing the envelope on standards of deceny.

Why is FCPS forcing families to compromise their values so their child "fits in"? On an issue of this type, involving community standards, to be responsive to Fairfax County citizens the school board members should vote on a policy instead of allowing a non-voted on FCPS regulation. Non-elected officials, paid for out of taxpayer funds, should not be making this decision.

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16 September 2002


Fairfax County Council of PTA's washes its hands on issue of graphic material in FCPS books


PABBIS briefed the Fairfax County Council of PTA's (FCCPTA) on 3 June 2002. As part of this briefing PABBIS asked the FCCPTA 10 specific questions and also asked that a blatant lie in a PTA Newsletter be corrected. The FCCPTA has ignored all of the questions and refuses to correct the lie. The only FCCPTA response has been the issuing of a bureaucratically worded resolution, in their September 2002 Newsletter, mostly just a restatement of current FCPS regulations.

The FCCPTA is now officially aware there are books with oral sex in FCPS middle school libraries, books with descriptions of masturbation in elementary schools for 2nd and 3rd graders to read, and many other books with extreme material in the classroom and library. They are aware and seemingly unconcerned.

The FCCPTA resolution states:
"..materials.. in FCPS libraries are carefully chosen by our education professionals... in accordance with policies and procedures set forth in regulations.."

The FCCPTA support of "our education professionals" choice of this material is very troubling and is in direct contradiction with stated PTA national objectives. Is this type of material in line with securing the "highest advantages" of "mental, social and spiritual education", "raising the standards of home life", and in bringing "into closer relation the home and school"? Guess it depends on the definition of "advantage", "raising", "education", "relation" and other terms!

The definition of terms used by "educational professionals" and PTA policy wonks is not important. What is important to parents is that the PTA leadership in Fairfax County is now officially on record as supporting extreme and age-inappropriate literature.

The uncorrected lie:

A Herndon HS PTA newsletter article (by Joette Bailey of the English department) said PABBIS wants to restrict or eliminate from the curriculum Ethan Fromme, Invisible Man, The Grapes of Wrath, The Great Gatsby and Elements of Literature. All lies.

In February 2002 PABBIS informed Ms. Vosburgh (Herndon PTA president) about the matter and asked her to publish a retraction. One month later PABBIS also informed the FCCPTA about the matter and noted they had not yet responded. The issue was brought up again in the 3 June briefing. To date, no answer from anyone.

As a side note, in her article Joette Bailey complained about having to read books that are used in the curriculum. Amazing! It is a teacher's taxpayer funded job to do this. How much time do teachers think parents have to read all the material?

The 10 questions the FCCPTA hasn't answered:

1 - Are there differences between minor children and adults?
2 - Are there differences between public libraries and public school libraries?
3 - Virginia state law requires that school districts establish a book challenge process. Are you against this law?
4 - Are a family's values, beliefs and rights important in the schools?
5 - The Pillars of the Earth was once used in 9th grade classes. It has extremely graphic detailed descriptions of sex and violence such as a character requiring violence to become sexually excited, oral sex, multiple rapes, gang rapes, tortures, a boy's earlobe being cut off while he was forced to watch his sister being raped by two men, and other extreme material. Some school board members didn't think that the book, when viewed as a whole, was legally obscene and therefore they thought it was acceptable in the schools. As PABBIS has said before, many parent's standards on reading material for their children are quite a bit higher than "not legally obscene". The unabridged audio version of this book was quietly removed from Rocky Run Middle School by FCPS after a challenge was submitted and now some parents seem to want this book placed back. Does your organization want this book placed back in middle school?
6 - Druids, a book with graphic descriptions of sex, oral sex, "sex magic" rituals, and the main character wanting to rape was in our middle schools. After it was challenged, FCPS voluntarily removed it from middle school. Now some parents want it placed back in middle school. Does your organization want this book placed back in middle school?
7 - Do you support a book with sexual and violent passages including the detailed description of a man in a sexual/strangulation scene with a six-year old girl, and other extreme content as required HS English reading?
8 - Do you support oral sex in middle school books?
9 - Do you support books with descriptions of masturbation in ES libraries that 2nd and 3rd graders can read?
10 - Baby Be-bop, a book with homosexual oral sex is in our MS libraries - Do the Fairfax county PTA's think it should be removed, yes or no?


Although they didn't answer these 10 questions, PABBIS has some MORE QUESTIONS FOR THE FCCPTA:

PTA values are not the same as Hollywood values - are they? How do you feel about the recent FCPS move to allow R-rated movies in school? Will you wash your hands on that issue also?

PTA objectives (supposedly) are:

- To promote the welfare of children and youth in home, school, community and place of worship.
- To raise the standards of home life.
- To secure adequate laws for the care and protection of children and youth.
- To bring into closer relation the home and school, that parents and teachers may cooperate intelligently in the education of children and youth.
- To develop between educators and the general public such united efforts as will secure for all children and youth the highest advantages in physical, mental, social and spiritual education.


Is your washing your hands on this matter consistent with PTA objectives?


NOTE to FCCPTA: The 'P' in PTA should be for all parents - not just those who think graphic sex and violence are acceptable. Your 'silence' on this matter sends a very loud and clear message.

NOTE TO PARENTS IN FAIRFAX COUNTY AND AROUND THE COUNTRY: Find out what your local PTA leadership thinks of graphic material in K-12 books. According to ptotoday.com, on average, $850 of a schools dues go to support state and national PTA leadership. The site also says "schools are choosing to leave the PTA rather than support locally unpopular political stances" and that "while the PTA claims that its political role is central to its mission and has been for more than a century, many local units don't see the value."

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29 July 2002


FCPS "Alternative Sexual Orientation" Books


The letter below from a PABBIS member was published on July 27th in The Washington Times. It was in response to an article on "gay-theme" book donations. In the time since the letter was written, PABBIS has learned that FCPS Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Domenech, informed the school board that there are almost 200 titles (approx. 1200 copies) of "gay theme" books already in the schools. PABBIS believes there are even more alternative sexual orientation books in FCPS than Dr. Domenech has even now admitted.

Text of Letter:

Last fall, a petition signed by more than 1,500 voting-age citizens in Fairfax County was presented to the Fairfax County School Board requesting a standards-of-decency policy for school libraries. While these citizens have been ignored, a few homosexual teachers and advocates are being accommodated hastily.

There already are about 100 titles in Fairfax County public school libraries listed as "homosexual" subject books. Forty "homosexuality fiction" titles ?more than 300 total copies ?are in the elementary, middle and high schools. These numbers do not include the many other books with homosexual themes that are identified by other terms (gay, lesbian, etc.) or not at all.

The school system's request for homosexual book donations was driven by its proposed new policy on sexual orientation. Pedophilia, necrophilia and bestiality also are sexual orientations. Will this new policy also prevent discrimination against the illegal activities involved with these orientations?

Pedophilia and other "alternative" sexual orientations are already in some of the books that concern us members of Parents Against Bad Books in Schools (www.pabbis.org). For example, last year "The House of Spirits" by Isabelle Allende was required reading for juniors in the International Baccalaureate English program at South Lakes High School, and it is on the shelves of most high school libraries. Among the numerous sexual and violent passages is a detailed description of a man in a sexual/strangulation scene with a 6-year-old girl. Elsewhere in this book, a child watches a man kiss her sister's naked corpse (intestines already removed) on the lips, the neck, the breasts and between the legs. The school system's library catalog only identifies this book as a "love story".

The school system continues to discriminate against those offended by books illustrating graphic and gratuitous sex and violence and refuses to warn parents in advance about books with such material. Even Hollywood has movie ratings to do this. Parents shouldn't have to approve of homosexuality or the use of explicit and graphic material in order to be "acceptable" to the public schools. That is simply bias against them and intolerance on the part of the schools.


CLARIFICATION NOTE: The petition asked for a Standards-of-Decency policy for all books, not just those in the libraries.

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1 July 2002


PAX - Parents Against X-Rated and R-Rated Books in Montgomery County Public Schools


PAX is new grassroots organization against X-rated and R-rated books in Montgomery County, Maryland Public Schools (MCPS). The PAX website says it is against adult books containing highly graphic sexual content (many which describe perverted sex acts, including sex with children and rape-torture), extreme violence and/or profanity being used in high school. PAX says many of these type books have been approved for use in MCPS and are being heavily used as standard curriculum in the classes and are on summer reading lists in every public high school in Montgomery County.

PAX wants to ensure that "OUR OWN CHILDREN ARE NOT BEING INTIMIDATED INTO READING BOOKS WITH IMMORAL CONTENT" and says "WE SHOULD BE ABLE TO RECOGNIZE AN INAPPROPRIATE BOOK ON A BOOK LIST OR SYLLABUS." Click PAX to access their website.

On May 13th PAX held a very successful demonstration in front of the MCPS headquarters. A PAX representative said, "The purpose of the demonstration was to make more people aware of the issue, to protest the extensive use of morally offensive books in the high school curriculum and to help stop the moral desensitization of our children." WAY TO GO PAX!! We are looking forward to hearing more about PAX in the future.

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1 July 2002


Parents, Families & Friends of Lesbians & Gays (PFLAG) to donate books to FCPS schools


An article in the June 21, 2002 issue of the Washington Blade (local gay newspaper) reported that a FCPS Hayfield High School teacher, who is co-chair of the National Capital Area Chapter of the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN) was contacted by a FCPS official to discuss procedures to follow so that books and other resources with gay-related themes could be placed in the public school libraries at all the high schools in Fairfax County, Va.

The article quoted Maryanne Warrick a Virginia member of PFLAG as saying, "We at PFLAG are coordinating a book drive in Fairfax County this fall at a private home. We will be asking people who come to donate money to buy books." The Washington Blade said the goal is to give 10 books with gay-related themes to each of the 24 high schools in Fairfax County.

Absolutely amazing! FCPS officials, who will not, or cannot, describe how books are selected, approved and acquired for the school libraries are actively soliciting donations of books with gay-related themes.

The FCPS request for gay-related theme book donations was driven by the planned new policy on "sexual orientation." While over 1500 citizens who requested the FCPS Board develop book selection Standards of Decency were ignored, a few gay teachers and advocates were quickly accomodated. FCPS seems intent on continuing to discriminate against those offended by the extremely graphic sex and violence in some books. The FCPS anti-discrimination policy only seems to work one way.

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16 May 2002


Town Hall on Book Selection


FCPS held a Town Hall meeting on 2 May 02 to discuss book selection. PABBIS representatives presented both some previously provided and new information and facts about this topic.

Anything goes extremists were out in full force. In addition to the typical name-calling (stupid, anti-intellectual, uneducated, unenlightened, etc.) at the parents, there were insults for our children (mushrooms, etc), and the usual lies (we want to burn the dictionary and Shakespeare, we don't even read the books, etc.). They made fun of the religious beliefs of those citizens who came and expressed such a perspective.

The main anything goes speaker used a loud string of profanity and vulgarity (coc* suck**, motherf***er, etc.) just to show lightning wouldn't strike when certain words were said. "They're just words", he said. What a juvenile way to make a point. Guess it's better than the X-rated movie he might have made his point with. [They're just pictures]. In any case, the anything goes in school books crowd clapped loudly, especially the high school students. Hopefully the speaker is not going to be giving the same talk, encouraging more profanity in the classes, in the halls, and on homework at a school near you.

The same speaker said that no one should be able to tell someone else's child what to read and inanely compared that with going into someone's home and telling them what color paint to use on their walls. We have a NEWS FLASH for this speaker: Your own children can read explicit sex and graphic violence in your own home, but that does not translate into the obligation of taxpayer funded public schools to provide it for you. Choose your own color at the paint store and choose your own books at the bookstore. Leave our kids out of it.

Some (especially one high school student) expressed the view that everyone was into porn, and the world was full of graphic sex and violence and other extreme material... so just get used to it. It is under everyone's bed. More of the same tired old lies and distortions: Nobody uses these books; They are never required; Only a small percentage of the book is offensive, so overall it's all right; "In context" extreme content somehow becomes not offensive.

In preparation for the meeting some FCPS teachers again were sending students to the PABBIS website (even for homework) as part of their classes despite previous FCPS instruction not to do that. Getting students out to the Town Hall meeting to fight for extreme material without limits or consent seemed to be a big goal of some teachers.

It is just "too hard" to disclose to parents upfront what is in these extreme books. Respect and acceptance of those with values, attitudes and beliefs against extreme content did not seem to be part of the FCPS definition or understanding of diversity. The attitude conveyed was hostile and intolerant and one that wants to force certain beliefs on others. They said you shouldn't even have a right to complain about books.

Their BOTTOM LINE seemed to be: Extreme material - we like it. You have to live with it and our values. We can't be bothered to even warn you when it's coming. Tough. Oral sex in middle school books and the like - get used to it. Nothing is too extreme at any age.

According to an ABC 7 television report of the meeting, an unnamed school official said there are no plans to [modify the selection process]. How did the two school officials (Nancy Sprague and Maribeth Luftglass), who conducted the Town Hall, reach that decision? Why even bother to have a Town Hall if that was already the case? Or was the decision reached on the spot, and if so, based on what? And why are over 1500 citizens being ignored?

Opposing the "anything goes, force-their-beliefs-on-your-children" extremists were speakers who asked for age-appropriate Standards of Decency and Upfront Informed Parental Consent. They explained why giving extreme material to other's minor children is in conflict with parental rights and values. They asked that the FCPS and the Fairfax County School Board not ignore the over 1500 citizens who requested Standards of Decency. You can read some of their speeches by clicking Townhallspeeches2may02.html. Note the teacher who provides a very revealing perspective in her comments.

The week prior to the Town Hall meeting only two school board members voted to keep a book with extremely graphic material [Gates of Fire] out of the middle schools. The others thought it would be ok there -- your children are 12-years old and ready for extreme reading. Why is the FCPS and School Board doing this?

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17 April 2002


Graphic and Extreme Reading Material in Fairfax County Public Schools - Myths and Facts


MYTH: Graphic and extreme books are only a library issue in FCPS

FACTS: Many of these books are in the curriculum, in regular, IB and AP classes, and on required, choice and suggested reading lists. The material found in some books used in English and History class includes graphic details of sexual acts, rapes, gang rapes, incest, oral sex, bestiality, necrophilia, pedophilia, homosexuality, sex associated with violence, torture, gratuitous violence, and other extreme content. The PABBIS website at www.pabbis.org, has page after page of specifics of just what type of material this is. It is not Harry Potter stuff. It is not what was considered controversial when parents were in K-12 school. It is very explicit and graphic and none of it is required to meet class objectives. These books are currently used without any upfront informed consent from parents. The three most recently challenged books in FCPS (Druids, The Pillars of the Earth, and Gates of Fire) were all used in the 9th and 10th grade. The truth is graphic and extreme books are used in the FCPS curriculum and are also recommended as the “best books?by being placed on summer reading lists. It seems Fairfax County Schools have joined others in our society in marketing sex and violence to our minor children.


MYTH: Books with graphic sex and violence are required to meet instructional objectives.

FACTS: Nothing in the SOL, Program of Instruction, or Learning Objectives requires use of books with graphic content. Many books without graphic material are available to achieve instruction objectives. Non-controversial books are used to teach the same Virginia required classes in other counties in the state, and in other high schools in this county.


MYTH: Most of these books are “classic literature?and are used in K-12 schools throughout the country.

FACTS: FCPS, through choice, is on the cutting edge of extreme graphic K-12 books. Very few public schools use these books and none so many as FCPS. The last three books challenged in FCPS were copyrighted in 1991, 1989 and 1998, fairly new to have become classic and widely used as K-12 literature. Baby-Be Bop, according to FCPS a book about “a boy comes to terms with being gay after he receives surreal storytelling visitations from his dead father and great-grandmother?was just copyrighted in 1995. This book, which contains homosexual oral sex and other controversial material, is in some FCPS middle schools. It is one of a series of controversial books, all by the same author. FCPS has spent lots of money in purchasing this series. The books in this series all have catchy covers and are very easy to read. The reading level difficulty of these books is at the level of 4-5th grade or below. Will FCPS place them in elementary schools next?


MYTH: The Bill of Rights and “free speech?somehow allow use of graphic and extreme material, without limit, in the K-12 schools.

FACTS: Free speech for whom? Teachers? Authors? Book publishers? Or students? K-12 students are children and minors, under the care of their parents until they reach legal age. Their parents 1st Amendment rights, not the teachers, are the real issue. What we are concerned with here is the 1st Amendment right for the consumer (not the producer) of the speech to exercise their right not to listen. Any parents who want their children to read Playboy, or even more graphic and explicit material, are able to allow this in their home, out of the schools. The 1st Amendment provides for free exercise of belief/religion. The schools should not be able to violate a families beliefs and values. The courts have consistently decided that freedom of speech rights do not fully apply to children in the school halls, classroom or student newspaper. No one at PABBIS is trying to take away anyone’s right to read any book. Parents who want their children to read extreme controversial material are not restricted from doing so. Such books are available in public libraries and bookstores. Removing a book from a school setting, limiting access to certain grades, or obtaining parental consent before use does not mean it is “banned?from the community, just that schools cannot endorse age-inappropriate, vulgar, indecent and violent reading material in their libraries and classrooms. Free speech rights do not mean "anything goes" in the school. Individual beliefs and individual family values are really what are being censored and banned today.

The Pico Supreme Court case was a landmark decision concerning free speech and 1st amendment rights of minors. It said that books cannot be removed from public school libraries solely because of the "ideas" contained in the book. However it also explicitly stated that school boards do have the right to remove books if they are deemed "educationally unsuitable" or "pervasively vulgar". Multiple court decisions continue to back the principle that minors can and should be treated differently than adults by our public institutions, including schools.


MYTH: That FCPS lets parents know what specific graphic material is in books so that they can make an informed parenting choice.

FACTS: Everybody agrees that no student should read a book over parental objections - the teacher should find another acceptable book for that student. However FCPS will not disclose specifics of book graphic content to parents. Their attitude is “we know what’s best for your child.?Do they think parents are omniscient or somehow have already read every book? Even Hollywood has a rating system to warn parents about movie content. FCPS seems to think parents don't need to be informed about controversial, graphic and explicit content in school books. If FCPS ran Hollywood their position would be: Parents, if you want to know what graphic sex, violence and vulgarity is in the thousands of movies, you must go see them all yourself.

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20 March 2002


Book Selection Standards of Decency Petition Ignored
Fairfax County School Board Member Stu Gibson supports "anything" in school books
PABBIS adds new book


Book Selection Standards of Decency Petition Ignored
More than 1500 people in Fairfax County signed a petition in 2001 asking that the School Board develop a policy to protect children from inappropriate reading material in public schools and set a standard to prohibit literature with disturbing, patently offensive, sexually explicit, pervasively vulgar or educationally unsuitable content. (See PABBIS News: 1 May, 25 June, 3 September 2001) The petition was submitted to the Board in the fall, but the School Board is ignoring the request.

Although the School Board was also formally requested by a member to create a policy, they did not do this. Instead, FCPS Superintendent Domenech asked his instructional staff to address the issue through a regulation. This was not what the petition asked for and the regulations developed are not even subject to a board vote.

These new regulations became official on Jan. 14, 2002. The GOOD NEWS is that now teachers have to pre-read the books used in their class, which is something you would think was already happening. Well it wasn't. For example, in a Dec01/Jan02 PTSA newsletter article, Joette Bailey a Herndon High School English teacher, whines about now having to read books that are used in her class. It is a teacher's taxpayer funded job to do this. How much time do teachers think parents have to read all the material? Joette Bailey's article also had some blatant lies about PABBIS, but that is another story.

The BAD NEWS is that, in reviewing books for controversial content, including explicit sex and graphic violence, the new regulation states “they may be approved if these contribute to the author’s purpose or theme or instructional purpose of the lesson.? Of course, it is a given that an author’s work is part of his/her purpose or theme! This guidance is meaningless and actually gives teachers specific permission to use the graphic books the petition is concerned about!

The following two paragraphs are taken from the 3 September 2001 PABBIS News:

FCPS employees generally seem to support the current status quo, which appears to be the extreme position of anything goes. Some Fairfax County School Board representatives also support the current anything goes standard based on their recent votes on book challenges. PABBIS is concerned that standards, developed by the same people who created the current situation, and who are working them behind closed doors, without parent involvement, may be inadequate. An anything goes standard will be equivalent to no standard at all and will result in the continued undermining of our values, violation of our parental rights, impact on free expression of religion and continue to violate the law. Responsibility for approving any new standard lies with the Fairfax County School Board elected representatives.

PABBIS wonders when Dr. Domenech will release the proposed standards to the Board, and how long the Board will have to review them prior to any vote. Will developing standards behind closed doors be followed by little or no time for review?


Well we now know some of the answers to the questions and concerns raised back in September in these two paragraphs above. There was no board vote. The standards were done behind closed doors by the same people who created the situation and are inadequate. The standards they created are "anything-goes" extremist standards.

Fairfax County School Board Member Stu Gibson supports "anything" in school books
As if we didn't know it already, Fairfax County School Board Member Mr. "Anything goes if not legally obscene" extremist Stu Gibson has clarified his position again for us. In a February article in the Herndon Connection he said, "I have not voted to restrict books in libraries". Well we all knew that already. Nothing seems to be too extreme for Stu Gibson.

On 25 June 2001 Stu Gibson was one of the four School Board members who voted to keep The Pillars of the Earth with unlimited use in FCPS. This book has extremely graphic descriptions of sex and violence. A character requiring violence to become sexually excited, oral sex, multiple rapes, gang rapes, tortures, a boys earlobes being cut off while he was forced to watch his sister being raped by two men, etc. Gibson said he didn't think that the book, when viewed as a whole, was legally obscene and therefore he thought it was acceptable in the schools. As PABBIS has said before many parent's standards on reading material for their children are quite a bit higher than "not legally obscene".

Back in February 2001 Stu Gibson indicated he wanted to keep, Druids, a book with graphic descriptions of sex, oral sex, "sex magic" rituals, and the main character wanting to rape in our middle schools. He voted to keep it with unlimited use in high schools after the FCPS voluntarily removed it from middle school.

Stu Gibson has consistently supported anything goes, at any age. He does not differentiate between the different ages and grade levels of children in elementary, middle and high schools. He does not believe that the schools should let parents know in advance what controversial material their children might be encountering in the classroom or library. It seems he does not recognize any material, no matter how extreme, as even being controversial. Material too graphic to print in the public or school newspaper is ok with him. Material that is prohibited by FCPS regulations is ok with him. Material that that would result in an NC-17 rating if the book were made into a movie is ok with him. Although the new regulation requiring teachers to actually read the books they place on classroom lists did not come to a vote, he indicated that he was even against that!

Stu Gibson is an extremist on school books. He will deny it, because it looks bad for him politically and publicly to come out and say it. Instead of spouting vague expressions, he would have to come out and say things like: I think the use of the f-word in ES library books is ok; I think sexual and violent passages in a detailed description of a man in a sexual/strangulation scene with a six year old girl is ok for required HS English reading; I think oral sex in MS books is ok, I think books with descriptions of masturbation in ES libraries that 2nd and 3rd graders can read is ok; and so on and so on. Yes, it appears Stu Gibson believes all these things and more are ok with him and that it is just too bad for you and your child. But he will not like to answer these things directly. He is good at waffling. So ask him direct questions like: Mr. Gibson, Baby Be-bop, a book with homosexual oral sex is in our MS libraries - Do you think it should be removed, yes or no? See what he answers. If he doesn't clearly answer yes, remember that he really means no. Perhaps he hopes to get this material into the elementary schools next.

It seems that Stu Gibson thinks he can trample all over your values and beliefs. It seems he doesn't think there is a difference between what goes on in school and what is on cable television. The newspapers will not even print the material Stu Gibson thinks is ok in school books. The FCC restricts levels of sex, violence and profanity on TV and radio, but Stu Gibson seems to think everything is ok in the schools. Even Hollywood has a rating system to warn parents about movie content and to limit a minor's access to certain movies unless accompanied by an adult. Stu Gibson thinks parents don't need to be informed about controversial, graphic and explicit content in school books. If he was in Hollywood his position would be: Parents, if you want to know what graphic sex, violence and vulgarity is in the thousands of movies, you must go see them all yourself.

Virginia Code 22.1-238 states that "The entire scheme of instruction shall emphasize moral education through lessons given by teachers and imparted by appropriate reading selections." Virginia Code 8VAC20-170-10 states that the local school board has the responsibility for "Placing special emphasis on the thorough evaluation of materials related to controversial or sensitive topics such as sex education, moral education, and religion." It seems that Stu Gibson either does not care what the law says or that he has an unusual definition of "moral". Unfortunately he seems intent on imposing his "anything goes" morality on your child.

The school board used to have a tradition of the "word of the day". Well, the word of the day for Stu Gibson is arrogant.

PABBIS adds new book
With this new book The Color Purple, the 17th most challenged book of the 1990’s, there are now 55 books on the PABBIS website. The Color Purple contains lots of controversial material starting right on the first page with a graphic rape of a 14-year old by her father.

These books are in use in Fairfax County, VA and in many other counties throughout the country. Some of the material in these books is extremely controversial and you might find it objectionable or inappropriate for your child to read or discuss in school. Find out what your child is reading! See what is in the books.


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