Dept of Education Opens Inquiry Into Texas District That Banned LGBTQ Books

The district’s superintendent was recorded expressing anti-trans viewpoints.

The civil rights division of the U.S. Division of Schooling has opened a federal investigation into a Texas school district, alleging that officers violated the rights of LGBTQ college students after they ordered librarians to take away books with LGBTQ themes from colleges.

The investigation, which was opened on December 6, notes that the superintendent of the Granbury Unbiased College District, situated in northern Texas, used transphobic language throughout a gathering with college librarians earlier this 12 months.

“There are two genders. There’s male, and there’s feminine,” Granbury ISD superintendent Jeremy Glenn wrongly asserted in an audio recording made in January. “And I acknowledge that there are males that assume they’re ladies. And there are ladies that assume they’re males. And once more, I don’t have any points with what individuals wish to imagine, however there’s no place for it in our libraries.”

Glenn made clear to his staff which books he particularly wished eliminated. “It’s the transgender, LGBTQ and the intercourse — sexuality — in books,” he said.

Opposite to Glenn’s feedback, consultants agree that gender is a spectrum and that there are a various vary of gender identities outdoors of female and male. “The concept an individual’s intercourse is decided by their anatomy at beginning isn’t true, and we’ve identified that it’s not true for many years,” endocrinologist Joshua D. Safer told The New York Times in 2018.

The district’s librarians complied with the order, eradicating “dozens of books associated to LGBTQ+ themes and characters” from the cabinets, according to a complaint from the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) in July. Some titles have been returned in response to outcry from dad and mom and educators, although many stay lacking.

The criticism from the ACLU, which was made in response to joint reporting from NBC Information and ProPublica earlier this 12 months, famous that Glenn’s feedback and the district’s actions “create[d] a chilling environment by which college students who reveal their sexual orientation or gender identification threat opprobrium, stigma, and exposing themselves to additional discrimination.”

“The message is evident: these college students ought to ‘conceal’ their full selves with the intention to be accepted in Granbury ISD. The varsity district has actively facilitated discrimination and hateful rhetoric,” the complaint stated.

The criticism inspired the Division of Schooling to analyze the matter, which it introduced it could do earlier this month. It’s believed to be the primary occasion of the division opening a civil rights investigation into a faculty district for its elimination of LGBTQ books from libraries.

The titles that have been eliminated included “Trans Teen Survival Information” by Owl and Fox Fisher, “Trans Voices” by Declan Henry, and “This Guide is Homosexual” by Juno Dawson.

Dawson spoke out in opposition to guide banning final month.

“The marketing campaign to ban books in some elements of the U.S. is uncontrolled,” the U.K. author wrote in a tweet. “It’s not, and has by no means been, about ‘defending kids’. It’s about political grandstanding and dangerous religion actors selling a far-right agenda.”