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  /  News   /  Georgia lawsuit challenges bans on LGBTQ+ books

Georgia lawsuit challenges bans on LGBTQ+ books

(NewsNation) — A federal lawsuit against a Georgia school district has been amended by the Southern Policy Law Center and another group to include a transgender student and a grassroots youth organization, The Guardian reported.

This has effectively become the first case challenging anti-LGBTQ+ book bans in the state of Georgia.  

The amendment, which was done anonymously to protect the student, widens the case’s focus to include the effects of censorship laws and policies in Georgia on students as well as teachers. 

Teacher Katie Rinderle read Scott Stuart’s picture book “My Shadow Is Purple” to her fifth grade class and was fired after parents complained. 

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After being fired, Rinderle appealed the decision, but it was upheld by the Georgia Board of Education. 

Along with the anonymous student, the grassroots youth group Georgia Youth Justice Coalition has been added as a plaintiff. Melody Oliphant, the executive director of the youth coalition, told The Guardian that amending the case was necessary.

“It’s vital that the case was amended, because … it documents the real harms students have experienced as a result of these policies,” Oliphant told the outlet.

Book bans have surged in American schools since 2020, and in 2022, Georgia passed Senate Bill 226, which made it easier for parents to challenge the books their children have access to.

Lawsuits against book bans have started to pop up in different states, as those who oppose them see bans as a way to silence marginalized voices.

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Supporters like the group Moms For Liberty say banning is sometimes necessary to protect children from content that’s deemed sexually explicit, not age-appropriate or offensive.

“The problem with the books that our chapters across the country have concerns with is that they are obscene and pornographic,” a Moms for Liberty representative told NewsNation last year. “This has nothing to do with if it’s male and male, female and female, or male and female.”