White House deputy press secretary Olivia Dalton said banning sexually explicit books from schools threatens children’s “civil rights” at a Friday press gaggle.
Several school districts and state governments have enacted bans on sexually explicit books from libraries throughout the U.S., particularly in Florida and Virginia. Dalton condemned the “book bans” as an attack on LGBTQ students.
“As you may be aware, in 2022 we saw more book bans than any year on record,” Dalton said. “Most of these book bans targeted LGBT people and communities of color. That has a deleterious impact on both our students’ ability to learn and certainly infringes on their freedom to access information, and has the impact of isolating certain individuals and groups. And as you heard the President talk about yesterday, we’re concerned about how this might impact the civil rights of students across the country.”
Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has removed over 100 sexually explicit books from Florida schools. One book, “Gender Queer,” depicts masturbation and oral sex between girls; and “Flamer” describes graphic sexual acts between males. Another book, “Let’s Talk About It,” instructs readers how to perform anal sex. (RELATED: TV Channel Had To Cut Feed When DeSantis Read Pornographic School Book, Reporter Says)
Parents in Fairfax County, Virginia, expressed outrage after their children were exposed to two sexually explicit books reportedly available for students as young as 12 years old. The books, “Lawn Boy” by Jonathan Evison and “Gender Queer” by Maia Kobabe, depicted pedophilia and sexual acts between men and underage boys.
Fairfax County Public Schools voted to reinstate the books to “provide diverse reading materials that reflect [the] student population” in November 2021. The Loudoun County Public School (LCPS) superintendent and a school board committee voted to remove “Gender Queer” from the library in January 2022.