Your article, “FCPS reinstates pornographic books to school libraries,” published December 3, 2021, did not comply with modern norms and best practices for journalism. As described in the article, FCPS used an internal review process to evaluate parents’ concerns about some library titles and determined the titles were educationally appropriate and not in violation of obscenity laws; therefore, the books are not pornographic, and the headline is inaccurate.
Overall, the article does not provide a balanced approach to this news item. The headline is purposefully salacious and seems designed to provoke outrage. News content that provokes outrage and does not accurately portray the facts of an event is a disservice to our community.
The reporting tone is inappropriately sympathetic to the concerns raised by the objecting parents and makes no recognition of the homophobic nature of the complaints. Historically, those intolerant of non-heterosexual and non-cisgendered people have baselessly associated this population with pedophilia and obscenity as means of shaming and ostracizing the population. This has led to public health crises in the population. There is nothing moral about intolerance of nonbinary gender and non-heterosexual preferences. The local paper should not be in the business of advocating for hate and intolerance in our community.
Jennifer Victor, associate professor of Political Science
George Mason University