Two Virginia school districts release lists of ‘sexually explicit’ library books

Responding to a controversial new state law, two Virginia area school systems have released lists of books containing “sexually explicit” material as defined by state law.

The book lists are required so that parents can look at the lists and opt their kids out from reading the books or even checking them out from the library.

According to State Code, “sexually explicit content” means any description of or any picture, photograph, drawing, motion picture film, digital image or similar visual representation depicting sexual bestiality, a lewd exhibition of nudity, sexual excitement, sexual conduct or sadomasochistic abuse, coprophilia, urophilia or fetishism.

The list in Prince William County contains more than 100 titles, including several that many consider staples, such as “Beloved” by Toni Morrison and “Slaughterhouse Five” by Kurt Vonnegut.

Also flagged as sexually explicit are the “The Canterbury Tales,” several Tennessee Williams plays, the works of Sophocles and the 2010 book “The Other Wes Moore” written by Maryland Gov. Wes Moore.

The Fauquier County list includes 20 titles, including “The Perks Of Being a Wallflower” by Stephen Chbosky and “Sold” by Patricia McCormick.

Critics say the Virginia law amounts to censorship. Supporters say it simply empowers parents to know what their kids are being exposed to at school.

Kyle Cooper

Weekend and fill-in anchor Kyle Cooper has been with WTOP since 1992. Over those 25 years, Kyle has worked as a street reporter, editor and anchor. Prior to WTOP, Kyle worked at several radio stations in Indiana and at the Indianapolis Star Newspaper.

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