Shutting Down School Book Challenges
The Biden regime has devised a deceitful scheme to shut down citizen efforts to remove schoolbooks containing LGBT themes, obscenity, or explicit sexuality. How do they plan to accomplish this?
The Department of Education’s (DoE) Office of Civil Rights is now monitoring book challenges across the country for “discriminatory” actions, specifically related to books with any “LGBTQI+” content.
But here’s the problem with their plan: There is no federal law banning discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity, transgender identity, queer identity, intersex identity, or plus identity. So, there is no solid basis for the DoE’s intervention in what should, in any case, be a local issue.
Recall that the Democrats were never able to pass their federal “Equality Act” which would have protected “sexual orientation,” “gender identity,” and “LGBTQ” identities (all left undefined) from discrimination. So, illegitimate decrees via executive order, bureaucratic memos, and agency regulations are used to stand in for law under the Democrat regime. Will they get away this legal sleight-of-hand?
Existing discrimination law clearly does not “protect LGBTQI+ rights.” So the Democrats somehow needed to reinterpret these:
- Civil Rights Act of 1964 which includes
– Title VI re: federal funding
– Title VII re: employment
- Title IX (1972) re: sex discrimination in education
Controversial Supreme Court rulings helped move “rights” thinking leftward: Lawrence v. Texas (2013) okayed sodomy. Obergefell (2015) blessed “same-sex marriage.” Bostock (2020) inserted undefined terms “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” into employment law (Title VII). The final radical push was the “Respect for Marriage Act” (December 2022) which enshrined same-sex “marriage” in federal law.
But those were still not enough to justify intervention in schools. Something more was needed.
At the time of the Bostock ruling, commentators predicted that its new expanded definition of “sex” in employment law would be applied in any case dealing with discrimination on the basis of “sex” (not just related to employment). And that’s exactly what happened.
In January 2021, Biden issued a far-reaching executive order. Anywhere existing statutes or regulations prohibit “sex discrimination,” the E.O. instructed all federal agencies to revise those to include “gender identity and sexual orientation.”
Implementing this order in March 2021 the Department of Justice (DoJ) Civil Rights Division posted a memo declaring that Bostock’s redefinition of “sex” applies not just to Title VII (employment), but also to Title IX (education). So by fiat, the clear meaning of “sex” in Title IX (re: education equity) was changed to include prohibiting discrimination based on “gender identity and sexual orientation.”
A few months later in June 2021, the DoE Office of Civil Rights instructed schools to follow this new “interpretation” of “sex”: “Title IX prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.” This bureaucratic regulation is what opened the door to protecting males in girls’ sports and restrooms. (The only good news on this is that attorneys general in 20 states have challenged this interpretation in a pending case.) It would also become the tool for regulating schoolbook challenges.
In 2022, the DoE began trial runs on shutting down book challenges in schools using their more inclusive definition of “sex.” In December, it began an investigation of the Gransbury, Texas school district which had removed sexually explicit or vulgar books from its schools. Of eight removed, only two had “LGBTQ themes.” But that was enough to call in the feds!
The DoE was also then investigating “allegations of discrimination” in the Carroll district in Texas. Staff members there were forced to retrain “in how to handle bullying complaints, to ensure students from all backgrounds feel safe at school.” (The call for “safety” at school for “gay and lesbian students” was the brilliant ploy that got the original LGBT indoctrination group GLSEN into schools nationwide.)
In April 2023, the DoE issued a detailed roadmap for compliance for the Forsyth County, Georgia school district after sexually explicit books were removed. A May 19, 2023 memo from the DoE Office of Civil Rights explains their authority to act is found in Title VI and Title IX because of their new interpretation of “sex” that includes (still undefined) “LGBTQI+.”
Even though the DoE determined that no “laws” (actually, bureaucratic regulations using the new interpretation of “sex”) were broken by the Forsyth County school district, a “sexually hostile environment was created.” So the district will still have to jump through multiple hoops devised by DoE bureaucrats. A lot of money is at stake if the Forsyth district fails to comply: Title VI federal funding, and legal fees if DoJ initiates “judicial proceedings to enforce the specific terms.”
This is pure harassment by bureaucrats. Expect more, because the DoE now has a newly appointed coordinator to monitor book challenges nationwide. Schools will comply because they fear losing federal funding and don’t want to fight a DoJ lawsuit.
It is not surprising that Biden would use “Pride” month to announce this coordinated assault on us “cruel” citizens. The White House’s June 8 memo and summary tweet label reasonable challenges “attacks on rights and safety”:
Over a dozen states have enacted cruel and callous anti-LGBTQI+ laws that violate our most basic values and freedoms as Americans. Today, the Biden-Harris Administration is announcing new actions to protect LGBTQI+ communities from attacks on their rights and safety, and to help LGBTQI+ kids thrive.
Since many challenged books with an LGBT focus also have explicit sexual content, it appears the DoE is intentionally creating a loophole for protecting obscenity in school libraries and classrooms. Furthermore, no school district can now remove books indoctrinating young children in “gender” ideology, or normalizing homosexuality and “gay marriage,” without triggering a DoE investigation.
All the good work by citizens to remove “gender” ideology, LGBT messaging, and obscenity from schools could be upended if we allow this intimidation by the DoE and DoJ. Individuals who follow CatholicVote’s suggestion to remove offensive books with LGBT content will be considered guilty of a civil rights violation!
But would school districts and citizens that remove such books really be “breaking the law”? No, because there is no federal law granting any special LGBT “rights” or protection from “discrimination.” There are only pronouncements of new “interpretations” of the word “sex.”
In sum, the White House, DoE, and DoJ have declared: Books with LGBTQI+ content are now protected in schools even if sexually explicit. Challenging or removing such books would create a “sexually hostile environment” for LGBTQI+ students. That would be a civil rights violation subject to DoJ action and loss of federal funding.
How did we get to this point? By allowing “LGBT rights” claims and reinterpretation of the word “sex” in anti-discrimination laws by courts and bureaucrats. What should we do now?
- Expose the fraudulent “legal” basis for the feds’ actions.
- If you live in a reasonable state, encourage your attorney general to join lawsuits vs. the DoE (as in the lawsuit noted above).
- Encourage school districts to challenge the DoE, even if it means they forgo federal funding.
- Fight attempts to enact new LGBT anti-discrimination laws (or local ordinances) in locales that don’t yet have them.
- Begin efforts to overturn existing LGBT anti-discrimination laws and local ordinances.
What a disaster that President Reagan didn’t follow through on his promise to eliminate the DoE!
Amy Contrada has been with MassResistance.org since its founding in 2004. She is the author of CORRUPT BARGAINS: How Gay Marriage Began in Massachusetts (2023); The Health Hazards of Homosexuality (2017); and Passing the Trash (2020). She is currently testing Elon’s commitment to free speech @AmyContrada.
Image: See-ming Lee