The Biden Administration is investigating a Texas school district for removing 130 titles from library shelves, mostly books with LGBTQ+ content.
The Office for Civil Rights (OCR) at the U.S. Department of Education (DOE) has opened an investigation into Granbury Independent School District in North Texas.
In March, numerous news outlets reported that school district superintendent Jeremy Glenn ordered school librarians to remove 130 titles dealing with sexual orientation and people who are transgender.
In an audio recording of Glenn’s January meeting with librarians, he said, “I acknowledge that there are men that think they’re women and there are women that think they’re men. I don’t have any issues with what people want to believe, but there’s no place for it in our libraries.”
In response to reports of the books’ removal, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Texas filed a legal complaint. The complaint accused the district of breaking Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, a federal law that prohibits schools from discriminating on the basis of sex and gender. The books’ removal created a “pervasively hostile” environment for LGBTQ+ students, the ACLU’s complaint said.
Chloe Kempf, an ACLU attorney, told NBC News, “[Glenn’s] comments, combined with the book removals, really send a message to LGBTQ students in the districts that: ‘You don’t belong here. Your existence is shameful. It should be censored.’”
Republican politicians, conservative school boards, and so-called “parents’ rights” groups have dramatically escalated attempts to ban “controversial” books from school, according to a recent report from the free-speech organization PEN America. The DOE OCR’s investigation into the school district is reportedly the first such investigation tied to this troubling trend.
The bans have largely come from Republican politicians, conservative school boards, and so-called “parents’ rights” groups that have opposed such content as “woke” “indoctrination” that’s “inappropriate” for kids.
Moms for Liberty, one of the national conservative groups pushing to ban LGBTQ books, has started pressuring public school libraries across the country to “accept book donations from conservative publishing companies that promote white supremacist, homophobic, and transphobic ideologies,” Vice News reported.