Thank you, dear readers, for your patience and support of my work. It has been a very busy year in the trenches of the battle to challenge the dangerous indoctrination of America’s children. I have helped to launch an organization called Parents Defending Education, and I kept waiting for the right moment to share our war stories with you here on Substack. That moment has arrived as I report to you from last night’s board meeting of Fairfax County Public Schools.
FAIRFAX COUNTY, Va. — Last night, Thursday, September 23, a brave Fairfax High School mother, Stacy Langton, walked up to the podium at a regular meeting of the Fairfax County School Board, carrying with her two books and printouts from images in the books.
She had watched a Texas school board meeting at which parents read from two books that they had found in their school library — Lawn Boy by Jonathan Evison and Gender Queer by Maia Kobabe. She looked for the books at Fairfax High School, and she found them at the school and throughout the county — available to minors as young as seventh grade, or as young as 12 years old, at Robinson Secondary School.
“The books were available, and we checked them out,” she recalled.
She started putting yellow Post-It notes on the pages. “Both of these books include pedophilia, sex between men and boys.” One book included a fourth grade boy performing oral sex on an adult male.
“The other book has detailed illustrations of a man having sex with a boy,” she said, unfolding oversized photocopies of the x-rated drawings, one after the next as she explained them. “The illustrations include fellatio, sex toys, masturbation and violent nudity,” as well as pedophilia.
The school board’s video recording panned away from a close-up and censored the images from the books available in the school library to children.
At the podium there at Luther Jackson Middle School, she started reading excerpts from Gender Queer, her voice trembling: “I can’t wait to have your cock in my mouth — I’m going to give you the blow job of your life. Then I want you inside me.”
From Lawn Boy: “What if I told you I touched another guy’s dick? What if I told you I sucked it? I was 10 years old but it’s true. I sucked Doug Goebbels’ dick, the real estate guy, and he sucked mine too.” The “real estate guy” was an adult man.
At that point, the board chair, Stella Pekarsky, huddled with Laura Jane Cohen, another board member, sitting to Pekarsky’s left.
“This was not an oversight at Fairfax High School,” Langton began.
At that point, Cohen interrupted — something that board rules say that members cannot do during citizen participation — “Excuse me, madame chair,” she said to Pekarsky, claiming, “There are children in the audience.”
I looked around. There were none at that point.
Pekarsky tried to interrupt Langton.
The mother, Langton, was not going to be interrupted. “Do not interrupt my time,” she demanded.
Parents and audience members started booing the board.
“You are sick!” one man yelled to the board.
Langton insisted, correctly, that her time be restored.
She continued: “These books are in stock available at the libraries of Robinson, Langley and….,”
Pekarsky again interrupted the mother, saying incorrectly: “Those are high school students, m’am.” Robinson Secondary School includes seventh and eighth graders.
“Pornography is offensive to all people,” Langton continued.
Before her time was even up, a buzzer not yet having gone off, Pekarsky interrupted Langton again: “Our next speaker!”
The audience broke into applause and a standing ovation to support the mom.
I watched in shock in the front rows of the meeting. When I think it can’t get any worse in America’s public schools, I attend another meeting of my local school board, and I am stunned at the political corruption and lack of professional ethics of America’s elected public school officials.
For my part, since my first speech to the board in June 2020, I have gone before my elected officials to warn them about the spread of this dangerous ideology called “critical race theory” in America’s schools, the ugliness of their anti-Asian racism against the students and families at America’s No. 1 high school and their abject failure returning children to school, responsibly spending taxpayer money and building any trust with parents. They have muted me, yelled at me and ignored me.
But still we persist.
And thank goodness we do. Stacy Langton had exactly the kind of clarity, courage and conviction that every parent must harness as we battle ideologues and activists who sit on their high horses— as the board members did later that night when they returned — misrepresenting parents, lecturing them and essentially thinking they just know so much better than them.
Denied her time, Langton wouldn’t leave the podium. Fairfax County Public Schools security officials approached her at the podium, one of them reaching for her books from behind her, before she took hold of them. She refused to leave, her eyebrows righteously furrowing in moral outrage.
Shockingly, the video reveals, the security official behind her, wearing a jacket and reaching for her books, lied about his identity.
He told her: “I’m the next speaker.”
When she wouldn’t leave, he touched her near her elbow to get her to leave and said: “My turn to speak.”
“Go to jail!” parents shouted.
And Langton was not going to leave until she threw the gauntlet down. The board having turned the microphone off, she shouted loud and clear: “The board is in violation of the law of the state of Virginia. Code 18.2-376. This board should be charged accordingly!”
Virginia Code § 18.2-376 reads:
§ 18.2-376. Advertising, etc., obscene items, exhibitions or performances.
It shall be unlawful for any person knowingly to prepare, print, publish, or circulate, or cause to be prepared, printed, published or circulated, any notice or advertisement of any obscene item proscribed in § 18.2-373, or of any obscene performance or exhibition proscribed in § 18.2-375, stating or indicating where such obscene item, exhibition, or performance may be purchased, obtained, seen or heard.
Instead of addressing listening respectfully to the mother, Pekarsky called a five-minute recess. A few remained seated, silent and flat. The others fled behind the stage.
“The board ran away,” a man said, as parents shouted, “Shame! Shame! Shame!”
For a board that mutes parents at two minutes, the board was gone much longer than five minutes. Undeterred, Langton handed copies of the x-rated illustrations to the board clerk to distribute to the board.
“These people need to go to jail,” a mother said.
And her hair askew from her first foray into the trenches of our local school board fiasco, Langton explained why she had ventured away from her family that evening to bear witness to what she had found in the school library. “I didn’t know about this until a week and a half ago,” she said.
“When you go and look at the books, it’s worse than anything you can imagine. It’s actually worse. I came to the school board meeting because I thought if I didn’t know, I bet most parents don’t know, and they need to know.”
And we do need to know. Instead of muting parents and fleeing from them, it is parents like Langton whom school boards need to honor, hear and respect. When my name was called, I stepped forward for my two minutes and told the board what each one of us was feeling in the audience: Parents are begging you to listen to them. And you flee. You should be ashamed of yourself.
As the clock neared midnight, only one other father and me left in the audience, the school board members climbed on their moral high horse, misrepresenting the parents there tonight as a caricature of intolerance and calling vacuously for “respect,” “open hearts” and “dialogue.”
Langton had to go home to tuck her children into bed. For her, I couldn’t stay silent.
I called them out for their hypocrisy, the guards rushing over to silence me.
But the lone father, a military parent new to the area, turned around and walked over to me and said: “Thank you. Every meeting, it’s the same. It’s them and the kids, and they rule out the fact that the parents are part of that process.”
He’s moving his children out of Fairfax County Public Schools. But he’s going to keep coming to meetings. “Somebody needs to hold them accountable,” he says.
They do. We do. And tonight a mom named Stacy Langton did.
Asra Q. Nomani is a former reporter for the Wall Street Journal and vice president of strategy and investigations at Parents Defending Education. You can reach her at email@example.com.