TALLAHASSEE – The writing group PEN America and publisher Penguin Random House sued a Florida school district Wednesday for removing books dealing with race and LGBTQ+ identity, the latest of a policy at the center of Governor Ron DeSantis’ agenda. There is opposition. Prepares to run for President of the United States.
The federal lawsuit alleges that the Escambia County School District and its school board are violating the Constitution’s First Amendment by removing 10 books from library shelves. The First Amendment guarantees the rights of free speech and action, which are considered fundamental to democratic government. These rights include freedom of speech, freedom of the press, freedom of assembly and freedom of religion.
The case does not name DeSantis as a defendant, although the Republican governor has supported policies that allow censorship and challenges books based on whether they are appropriate for children in schools, causing a national outcry. .
DeSantis, who is expected to announce his presidential candidacy in the coming days, drew heavily on ideological polarization over race, sexual orientation and gender in his bid to win over conservative voters who decide the Republican primary. Are.
“Books have the potential to change lives for the better, and students especially deserve equal access to a wide range of viewpoints. Like, a direct threat to democracy and our constitutional rights.
Escambia County school officials did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The lawsuit claims that the removals were due to objections from a county language arts teacher, and that in each case the school board voted to remove the books on the recommendations of a district review committee, which reviewed them. Look
The professor’s formal objections to the books appear to be based on material gathered by a website that makes reports on books that are ideologically inappropriate for children, according to the lawsuit.