WASHINGTON - Christian students and their parents protested at a Fairfax County, Virginia high school Thursday.
Their main point: during the very week of the year that schools highlight how many great books have been banned, those same schools are banning books that present a Christian viewpoint on homosexuality.
"These students last year and again today have tried to donate books and have been told that their books are inappropriate, that they express a religious viewpoint and that they do not meet the criteria and will not be accepted," parent Tom Bognanno said
Student Lauren King added, "They told us our books were too biased to be on the bookshelves."
Fairfax County is located in a mostly liberal area of northern Virginia just across the Potomac River from Washington D.C.
Many of the 40 or so students at the protest wore black t-shirts that said "Closing books shuts out ideas."
Parent Cheryl King said the Christian books show there's an alternative to living out a homosexual life.
"There's hope, there's redemption, and you could live a heterosexual lifestyle," King said. "That you don't have to live that lifestyle."
High school student Elizabeth Bognanno added, "We believe there's another option, another way. And we're not discriminating against.it really has nothing to do with that topic. What it has to do with is we can't donate books in our own library."
These protestors say Christians are caricatured as censors and book-banners, but that's certainly not the case in Fairfax County.
Elizabeth Bognanno's father Tom insisted, "We're not asking anybody to take any book off the shelf."
Lauren King added, "We're not trying to ban books. We're just trying to put books into our library."
Focus on the Family sponsored the initiative by the students to get more than a hundred books into some dozen high school libraries.
The Colorado-based pro-family group was represented at the protest by the organization's education analyst, Candi Cushman.
She told CBN News, "What's happening is we're seeing more and more promotion of homosexuality happening in public schools. And often in the name of tolerance, Christian students are finding that their viewpoints and their beliefs are being belittled and often even ridiculed."
Tom Bognanno read out one example of anti-Christian discrimination from a book found on the shelf of a Fairfax County school library.
Quoting the book, he read, "'Recent studies illustrate that Americans hate gays and lesbians in direct proportion to the number of times they attend their local church.' That's insulting to me as a Christian. I don't feel that way, the students here don't feel that way, most Christians I know don't feel that way. Why is that book on the shelf and not another book that would say that as a Christian, as a parent or as a student, the dialogue I want to have is one of respect, true tolerance and a message that we can work together and talk together in a civil dialogue, not polarized?"
Librarians have told the students that the books they want to donate aren't well-researched and some might make homosexual students "feel inferior."