The Biden administration announced Thursday that it plans to hire a new federal coordinator dedicated to “protecting Americans from book banning.”
The Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights will recruit an official to provide “new trainings for schools nationwide on how book bans that target specific communities and create a hostile school environment may violate federal civil rights laws.”
The White House’s Thursday announcement was launched “in celebration of Pride Month” as the Biden administration moves to “protect LGBTQI+ communities from attacks on their rights and safety.”
“Across the country, our nation faces a spike in book bans – efforts that disproportionately strip books about LGBTQI+ communities, communities of color, and other communities off of library and classroom shelves,” a White House press release stated.
The Biden administration decried efforts from conservative state governments and concerned parents to keep sexually explicit and age-inappropriate books out of school libraries and classrooms.
“Over a dozen states have enacted anti-LGBTQI+ laws that violate our most basic values and freedoms as Americans, and are cruel and callous to our kids, our neighbors, and those in our community. The Biden-Harris administration stands with the LGBTQI+ community and has their backs in the face of these attacks,” the Biden administration stated.
The new coordinator will “address the growing threat that book bans pose for the civil rights of students” and “shield LGBTQI+ Americans.”
“Book banning erodes our democracy, removes vital resources for student learning, and can contribute to the stigma and isolation that LGBTQI+ people and other communities face,” the White House said.
According to the American Library Association, the top three most challenged books of 2022, all of which contain sexual content, include “Gender Queer: A Memoir” by Maia Kobabe, “All Boys Aren’t Blue” by George M. Johnson, and “The Bluest Eye” by Toni Morrison.
Along with the announcement regarding the new Department of Education coordinator, the administration also stated that it would implement several other LGBT-related initiatives.
The Department of Homeland Security, the Department of Justice, and the Department of Health and Human Services will launch an “LGBTQI+ Community Safety Partnership,” which will “work hand-in-hand” with the community to combat “high rates of violence and hate crimes.”
“LGBTQI+ communities face a surge in violence against individuals and community spaces. Federal threat monitoring shows that these threats are increasingly tied to hate groups and domestic violent extremists,” the White House stated.
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