The Virginia school board is divided on whether to ban or burn books


The Spotsylvania County, Virginia County School Board is divided. It’s not over if we remove the books they define as “sexually explicit” from the district’s school libraries. They voted unanimously (6-0) to do so, even though a council member was not present. The split was between those members who wanted to remove the books and whoever wanted to take them off the shelves also burns them.

The burn group consisted of Courtland rep Rabih Abuismail and Livingston rep Kirk Twigg. “I think we should throw those books in the fire,” said Abuismail.

Twigg seemed both more methodical than extreme, saying he wants to “see the books before we burn them so that we can identify within our community that we are eradicating these bad things.”

Concerns seemed to focus specifically on a young adult fiction book called 33 Snow Fish by Adam Rapp about fugitives and LGBTQ themes. For Abuismail, the fact that schools in the District have Rapp’s book on their shelves means that schools “would rather our boys read gay pornography than talk about Christ.” So there is that.

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Abuismail made headlines in 2019 when he was first elected to the school board at the age of 22, the youngest person ever elected to public office in Spotsylvania County.

For now, they’re just removing the books instead of burning them. They will begin removing “sexually explicit” books this week and will receive a report on how many books have been removed next week. Kirk Twigg said he will want to broaden the ban beyond sexually explicit materials because “there is some bad and evil material that we need to watch out for and watch out for.”


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