The National Women’s Law Center filed two complaints with the Office for Civil Rights against Cobb County School District in Georgia and Collier County Public School District in Florida. Both complaints address the ongoing harm of each school district’s discriminatory censorship of books and learning materials that feature characters and authors of color and who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, and asexual (LGBTQIA+), and books that discuss race and racism, and LGBTQIA+ identity and discrimination.

Both public schools are systemically marginalizing lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, and asexual (LGBTQIA+) students in violation of Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 (Title IX) and students of color in violation of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VI). The discriminatory efforts to censor these books and learning materials have harmed students by creating and fostering a hostile environment in which they feel unsafe to be who they are at school, feel unsupported or in their identities, and cannot see themselves reflected in what they learn at school. Classroom libraries and media centers have been decimated; students have been forced back into the closet; teachers and other school staff who seek to provide safe environments for students have been driven away from schools; incidents of bullying and harassment have been ignored; and there is a pall of fear over the educational environment for LGBTQIA+ students and students of color.

All students deserve a safe public education—including LGBTQIA+ students and students of color.