Letter: Francine Works, Leesburg

Editor: Mr. Henshaw is correct that “our society has been identifying and classifying such content literally for decades.” Going on to say that we have been rating other media such as podcasts, movies, television and music. Now, just because we “have” doesn’t mean that we “should”. 

The curriculum offered in our school system is biased toward the experience of those in power. Therefore, to censor content particularly LGBTQ+ content and of LGBTQ+ writers/sources, is exercising discrimination from those in power by not allowing these voices the focus and space that they are long overdue.

I would still like a definition of what falls under “graphic content.” I will not hold my breath.The only solution that I can think of that may appease Mr. Henshaw and others with similar viewpoints is that just as for FLE, Family Life Education, we allow a permission slip to be signed that would give parents who wish to have this control over their child to opt-out of borrowing books from the school library. This would give those parents the opportunity to escort their children to the many public libraries and bookstores across Loudoun County.

Think of it as a bonding activity. Books can bring people together. Having an open dialogue with your child, whatever side of this issue you are on, can only be a positive experience.

Francine Works, Leesburg

3 thoughts on “Letter: Francine Works, Leesburg

  • 2019-11-30 at 6:23 pm
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    Ms. Works,

    The arrogance demonstrated in your response here truly is breathtaking.

    You start by saying that “just because we ‘have’ doesn’t mean that we ‘should’.” So I presume you would support the elimination of movie ratings and simply hope that when we take our children to the movie theater it won’t contain raunchy scenes, gratuitous nudity, hard profanity, and gore?

    You then say, “to censor content particularly LGBTQ+ content and of LGBTQ+ writers/sources, is exercising discrimination from those in power by not allowing these voices the focus and space that they are long overdue.” It’s here the real agenda of this exercise comes to light. Putting LGBTQ-themed books into schools isn’t really about educating children, but rather is about using schools to impose one group’s idea of “social justice” on the entire community without prior discussion. I have no problem with giving LGBTQ artists and authors space and focus where it’s due; but I have a serious problem when a small group of people decide behind closed doors that that space will be the public school system. To take that step without informing the community in advance suggests that the school officials knew perfectly well that they would face opposition; but believing their morality was superior, they decided that they had the right to go ahead anyway and impose their views on the children in the community.

    You’ve said in your previous letters that it’s not the schools’ place to parent our children, but in this exercise, you’re presuming to decide what morals our children will learn. That is a parenting function.

    >>The only solution that I can think of that may appease Mr. Henshaw…

    No, I gave you a solution that would appease me. I have not advocated censorship; I have only called for using technology to keep parents informed. But why would you be opposed to letting parents opt-out? Unless, of course, you wanted children exposed to the material even in opposition to parents’ wishes.

    >>Think of it as a bonding activity. Books can bring people together.

    Yes, they can; but I, as the parent, will have the final say over which books my children will bond.

    Mark Henshaw

    • 2019-12-07 at 8:21 am
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      Mark,
      You are clearly overlooking the fact that the nanny state is far wiser and “woke” than any parent could possibly be when it comes to the moral and cultural upbringing of your own children. You should be overjoyed that dogmatic activists such as Ms Works are expending precious tax dollars and using her own wise and prudent judgement to unilaterally lift that burden from your shoulders and allow only the state to exercise its best discretion as to what your children should be exposed to.

      Now you can sleep soundly at night knowing that someone who is obsessively concerned with their own genitalia and sexual preference and how it is perceived by others is now molding your child’s perceptions, too, and making sure that our kids acknowledge her existence and preferences. So you can just set aside that “final say” you think you have, as the more enlightened members of our society like Ms Works will be taking that decision from you.

    • 2019-12-10 at 12:54 pm
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      You gave a suggestion that doesn’t make any sense. Who would decide what books would be flagged as graphic? I challenge you, encourage you Mr. Henshaw to make your suggestion at the next School Board meeting. As for promoting a “social justice agenda?” That sir shows your ignorance, intolerance, and frankly your homophobia. I do wonder what you are afraid of. If you wish to helicopter parent do that with your kid. Don’t limit the choices of students to read. Again, not required reading. Reading for fun, enlightenment, and dare I say pleasure or is that too risque for you.
      As for my suggestion that people like yourself who want to keep their children only reading what they approve of, great. My comment about bonding was meant as sarcasm but I do feel it is a good idea.
      So, maybe I’ll see you at the next school board meeting.
      ~Francine Works

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