UPDATE 7:34 am Thursday: I’m told that Fairfax County School Board members brought whatever books they wanted to their swearing-in, were NOT told specifically to bring a religious book and were NOT provided one. Apparently, only one or two members were sworn in on a Bible, while some weren’t sworn in on any book at all. One member, Kyle McDaniel, was sworn in on Yaa Gyasi’s “Homegoing” (“based on the Atlantic slave trade of Ghana and writes about slavery in the past to racism in the present time”) which was banned in Hanover and Spotsylvania. According to McDaniel:
“’Homegoing’, which was recently banned in Hanover and Spotsylvania Counties, examines the legacy of slavery in our country. We owe it to our students to teach accurate, complete, and contextual history. That’s a commitment I made at last night’s ceremony.”
Also, Marcia St. John-Cunning was sworn in on a stack of books; Rachna Sizemore-Heizer was sworn in on two books…not sure what they all were, but will check.
From Fairfax County School Board member Karl Frisch:
Frisch Takes Oath for Second Term, Sworn-In on Banned Books
Will Become Fairfax County School Board Chair on January 1
FAIRFAX COUNTY, VA — Tonight, Fairfax County School Board Member Karl Frisch (Providence District) took the Oath of Office for his second term. He was sworn in on a stack of the five LGBTQ-themed books most frequently banned by other school systems.
Currently the Board’s Vice Chair, Frisch becomes its Chair on January 1. He is the first LGBTQ+ person elected to local office in Virginia’s largest county and one of only four openly LGBTQ+ school board members in the Commonwealth out of roughly 800 members.
“Fairfax County residents want safe and inclusive schools with exceptional, well-compensated educators and equitable access to the rigorous academic and enrichment opportunities every student needs to succeed,” said Vice Chair Frisch. “I am grateful for the trust Providence District families have placed in me, and with tonight’s Oath, I commit to standing strong for these values and advancing these priorities with my new and returning colleagues.”
Frisch won re-election by more than 30 points and received a larger share of the vote (67%) and more total votes than in 2019, when he secured more votes than any School Board candidate in Providence District history.
Following tonight’s Oath of Office, the new Board remains not only entirely Democratic but also diverse like the community it serves, with one Black member, one Hispanic member, two Indian American members, one Korean American member, three LGBTQ+ members, and three immigrant members. Additionally, women are the Board’s majority, with seven members.
Providence District is home to many diverse and vibrant neighborhoods, including Tysons, Dunn Loring, Idylwood, Merrifield/Mosaic, Mantua, and Oakton, as well as parts of Fairfax, Falls Church, and Vienna.