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FairfaxOpinionEditorial: Fairfax library officials tread on dangerous turf

Editorial: Fairfax library officials tread on dangerous turf

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The national culture wars descended on McLean last week, courtesy Fairfax County library officials.

A staff display, purportedly promoting reading options during the holidays, opted to commingle the Bible with “Gender Queer” and “Lawn Boy” – the two books that Fairfax County Public Schools officials recently deemed worthy of putting back on the shelves of local high schools despite complaints that they were unsuitable.

Not surprisingly, the library’s somewhat obnoxious effort drew angry responses; after the media and elected officials began inquiring, the display was scuttled.

Deflection and damage control commenced. “It was not the intention of staff to create a display that could be construed as offensive,” county library director Jessica Hudson told FOX News, which jumped on the contretemps.


OK, if that is true, what exactly was the intention of those who came up with the display, then? Because absent some plausible explanation we can’t come up with, it sure seems like that’s the only intention there could have been.

It’s been well-known for years that some in leadership of libraries across the nation are using their positions, just as those in public education are, as platforms for indoctrination. And that, as also is the case with schools, many within the staff ranks are afraid to speak out for fear of a jackboot coming down and crushing their careers.

It’s one thing to advocate making a wide variety of materials available at libraries. But when library officials, whether someone low on the staff roster at a local branch or at the very tippy-top of the bureaucratic pyramid, try to use their positions to force their side of the cultural battle down the throats of taxpayers, that’s unacceptable.

It’s also plainly dumb: Critics of these “woke” shenanigans have themselves been awakened and are going to be just as aggressive in pushing back, as they did in the case of the library display. And they have every right to.

We expect more from Ms. Hudson and her library system. They should have more self-awareness. And how about library officials – school officials, too – throttle it back a little and stop working overtime to alienate a large chunk of their constituency?

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