A Prince William County supervisor is up in arms about a children’s book read at Thurgood Marshall Elementary School last week.
During morning announcements last week, the school’s librarian read “Prince & Knight.”
The story is about a prince who is about to take the throne, but first needs a partner. He meets and falls in love with a knight as they fight a dragon. The men marry at the end.
In a Facebook post, Supervisor Yesli Vega, R-Coles, said she’s “been assisting a Prince William resident and dealing privately with local government officials in regards to the availability of books to our children depicting graphic sexual acts inappropriate for young minds.”
The post includes an email from a parent and photos of the book, but it’s unclear if Vega is specifically referring to “Prince & Knight” when she said “graphic sexual acts.” The book includes no sexual acts, and the men do not share a kiss in the book.
The only intimacy in the book is one image of the prince resting his head in the knight’s lap as they sit in front of a fountain, another of the two holding hands and, at the end, they are holding hands and looking at each other on their wedding day.
Vega’s chief of staff said she was unavailable for an interview this week. Instead, he provided a statement in which she said the reading the book forced an “alternative sexual romance” on children.
Vega said that public schools “don’t exist for left-wing activists to groom students towards a sexual preference.”
In her post, Vega, who is running for U.S. Congress in the 7th District, said the school’s students were “forced to watch and listen to a homosexual romance being read by the school librarian.”
“Student test scores in Prince William County Schools have fallen through the floor yet these are the kinds of things PWCS chooses to focus their and your children’s time on,” Vega’s post says. “The need for parental and student choice in education has never been needed more than it is now. The tax dollars you pay for your children and grandchildren’s education must be allowed to follow them to the school of your choice – not the indoctrination centers that professional liberal activists have turned our government run schools into.”
Vega said parents should have been able to opt out if they had religious or “cultural” concerns about the book.
“These are conversations that should be had in the home with parents,” she said. “The parents of the Commonwealth of Virginia told us loud and clear last fall that they deserve and demand a say in their children’s education and what they’re being taught.”
Marshall Principal Kristin Bock, in an email to parents, said the school focuses on providing “an environment that is inclusive and welcoming for all students.”
She said the book was read in recognition of June as LGBTQ+ Pride Month. Bock said it was “an age-appropriate book that celebrated the bravery of a knight and prince who fight a dragon, marry, and are celebrated with inclusion in their community.”
Bock’s email says that over the weekend “some individuals in our school community expressed concern regarding this book.” Under county regulations, books can be challenged and reviewed.
“While individuals have a right to disagree with the material, intimidation of Marshall staff and insinuated threats against them will not be tolerated,” Bock’s email says. “While we have no reason to believe there is any current threat to our school, we will continue to work with PWCS Risk Management and with law enforcement and report such concerns, as necessary.”
The school declined further comment.