The Biden administration has opened an investigation into a Texas school district for banning sexually explicit books that promote gender theory.
President Joe Biden’s Department of Education Office for Civil Rights is seeking legal precedent saying the failure to represent “LGBTQ” characters in school content can constitute discrimination.
School districts across the country have been forced by parents to remove books deemed sexually explicit or racially divisive in the wake of public schools being exposed as left-wing indoctrination mills.
Many of the books describe, in detail, and glorify the completion of sexual acts between minors and even pedophilic interactions.
Granbury Independent School District in Texas is at the center of the probe, which will be based on an American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) complaint from the summer. In 2022, Granbury removed 130 books from library shelves, about 75 percent of which were deemed to be too sexual and have “LGBTQ” characters. The Texas ACLU promptly filed a complaint.
ACLU Texas argues that such a removal constitutes a Title IX violation, which was recently reinterpreted by the Biden administration to include sexual orientation and gender identity in the definition of sex discrimination.
If the challenge is successful, it will have national implications and potentially require school libraries to stock the often-pornographic books and force school districts to provide avenues for children to access such material.
ACLU attorney Chloe Kempf said:
The book removals and also the comments create this pervasively hostile environment. Both send a message to the entire community that LGBTQ identities are inherently obscene, worthy of stigmatization — and the book removals uniquely deprive LGBTQ students of the opportunity to read books that reflect their own experiences.
However, Will Flanders of the conservative Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty said the censorship of such books does not amount to a civil rights violation that “requires federal intervention.”
“It’s a question about books in schools, not about individual rights being violated,” he said.
Given the unprecedented nature of such a challenge, were it to become a lawsuit, some anticipate the case reaching the U.S. Supreme Court.
John Doherty of the School Liability Expert Group — which provides legal consultation and expert witness testimony to school districts — said the Biden administration’s investigation should not be read to be significant yet, as the Office for Civil Rights is required to investigate all complaints of discrimination.
However, Doherty did say of a challenge, “I think it’s gonna hold,” but added that the process will be a slow one.
The Texas ACLU has filed essentially the same complaint against Keller Independent School District as well, which challenges Keller’s decision to ban books depicting “gender fluidity,” as the ACLU argues the ban “seeks to erase transgender and non-binary identities … and sends the message that transgender and non-binary students do not belong in the Keller ISD community.”
One aspect that may complicate the challenge is being able to show animus against certain types of students, as opposed to having a generally applicable policy.
In the case of many school districts, such evidence appears to be scant. However, in the case of Granbury, district superintendent Jeremy Glenn made remarks in a closed meeting saying, “pulling out … the transgender, LGBTQ, and the sex — sexuality — in books.”
It is unclear if those remarks will be enough to show animus.