Major Warner

Fauquier Deputy Superintendent Major Warner discusses new sexually explicit instructional policy during the School Board's October 2022 board meeting. 

Fauquier County Public Schools announced new policy guidelines this week that will give parents greater control over their children's access to so-called sexually explicit instructional materials.

Deputy Superintendent Major Warner announced during the May 8 School Board meeting that starting July 1, parents of students enrolled in Fauquier County Public Schools will be able to access a list of books and instructional materials from every school library within the division that falls under the new sexually explicit instructional policy.

Parents will also have the option to restrict their child's access to any books on the list by completing a form.

The move comes after the School Board adopted the sexually explicit materials policy five months ago. The policy requires teachers to identify sexually explicit instructional materials in their syllabus and notify parents 30 days before the start of the school year. If the material meets the definition of sexually explicit, parents can request alternative materials for their children. But the request must be made five days before the scheduled lesson.

While not required by law under the Virginia Department of Education's model policies, Warner said he believed adding these new regulations would give parents more autonomy over their child’s education.

“Our charge was to come out of this with some tools that we could give to parents who desire to have increased control over what their children check out in the libraries,” Warner said during the School Board’s May 8 meeting. “It also gives our teachers some increased information and guidance relative to how they would handle sexually explicit material.”

The guidelines are the product of a five-month collaboration between a committee of librarians, teachers, administrators, parents and students and Warner's office.

David Kuzma

David Kuzma, supervisor of Library and Media Services for Fauquier County Public Schools, speaks to the School Board May 8 about additional regulations that will be attached to the school system's sexually explicit instructional materials policy.

David Kuzma, one of the committee members and supervisor of Library and Media Services for the school system, said the committee went back and forth with Warner’s office to develop a process librarians and principals could use to evaluate books containing sexually explicit content and notifying parents.

“Having 20 schools in the county, elementary, middle and high school. They all are doing things differently,” Kuzma said during the May 8 School Board meeting. “So [the committee] asked the librarians to come together and explain, ‘How are you choosing books? Which tools are you using? What is your process?’”

Ultimately, the committee determined librarians should “use their professional judgment” when deciding what books to purchase. But the new regulation notes librarians must consult at least two “reliable sources,” including the School Library Journal, Kirkus, Booklist, Publisher’s Weekly and Horn Book. Librarians may also consult Common Sense Media, author websites, publisher websites and Amazon Reviews if formal reviews are unavailable.

Additionally, school librarians and principals will be responsible for identifying library books currently on the shelves that meet the definition of sexually explicit and posting them to the school’s library website – which Warner noted would be updated periodically – by July 1. 

When parents register their children for school, they can indicate which books on the posted list their child is not allowed to access.

'Never about removing books'

The issue of book censorship was a constant topic of debate within the community last summer after several members of the local Moms for Liberty chapter initiated the process of removing 17 books from the Kettle Run Library’s shelves, arguing the material contained sexually explicit content.

The group withdrew its request after the School Board announced it would adopt a new policy around sexually explicit content.

Still, citizens and parents have continued attending School Board meetings to share their concerns about censorship.

Warner said the division’s goal was “never about removing books from libraries” or "to get into a censorship conversation,” rather it was about creating “transparency."

“If you desire to have full control over what your children check out, there's something in here for it. If you desire to let your children have the autonomy that you believe [in], you're good. If at the end of the day you fundamentally believe that there's a book that should not be on a shelf in our library, the process for challenging a book remains the same. That has not changed. That's why we did regulations,” Warner said.

After the meeting, when asked about the number of books that would be subject to the new policy, Warner stated he did not have an exact number but anticipated that it would be a small amount.

"It could be several dozen. It could be a couple. Every library is different," Warner said. "I don't think it's going to be an overwhelming number."

(4) comments

Bonnie C.

Here we go. Be careful, because Big Brother is watching. Unfortunately, "Big Brother" is an ignorant moron who wouldn't know a good book if he fell over it.


This won't be enough for the book burners. They want to keep ALL kids from accessing books they disapprove of, even if they've never read or even heard of any of those books before this week. It' all about control, and the only way to ensure control is to make sure everybody else is as ignorant and uninformed as they are.

Marshall man

So the librarians, teachers, and principals that put these books in school libraries have control over which books get added to the list parents see?

Why are the books in the libraries in the first place?

Parents should be in control of the morals ans ethics of their children, not the schools.

We now have the foxes guarding the hen house.


Don't want your kid to read a book? Don't let them. Don't want somebody else's kid to read a book? Tuff.

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