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Equality California Applauds Newly-Released Joint Letter on Book Bans and Inclusive Education
A growing number of school districts across California are seeking to ban books and censor curriculum discussing racism and the experiences of LGBTQ+ people
June 2, 2023 at 12:08 pm

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 2, 2023

CONTACT: Jorge Reyes Salinas, Equality California
PHONE: (213) 355-3057/MOBILE: (213) 355-3057/EMAIL: press@eqca.org

SACRAMENTO, Calif. —  Equality California, the nation’s largest statewide LGBTQ+ civil rights organization, released the following statement from Executive Director Tony Hoang in response to  a joint letter from Governor Gavin Newsom, Attorney General Rob Bonta, and State Superintendent Tony Thurmond cautioning  against book bans and and ensuring that California students receive accurate and inclusive classroom instruction, including access to unbiased instructional materials:

“At a time when over a dozen states have already passed laws banning books and censoring school curriculum, we applaud this clear and forceful guidance from the highest offices in our state unequivocally demonstrating their commitment to providing unfettered access to an inclusive and accurate education for all students. 

Across California, we are witnessing a growing number of school districts considering and passing policies to censor curriculum, books, and other materials discussing racism and even the very existence of LGBTQ+ people. These actions create a hostile learning environment for LGBTQ+ and other marginalized students and send them the harmful message that their history and experiences should be ignored.

Nearly 2 in 3 LGBTQ+ young people said that hearing about potential state or local laws banning people from discussing LGBTQ+ people at school made their mental health worse. The link between supportive school environments, access to affirming resources, and youth mental health could not be clearer. 

This guidance from the Governor, the Attorney General and the State Superintendent is a welcome counter to the vile and hateful attacks on the LGBTQ+ community and other marginalized groups. Any school district that attempts to ban books or erase the experiences of LGBTQ+ people will be forced to answer to the state’s chief law enforcement officer. 

California will continue to lead by example by cultivating and protecting access to books that are vital to prepare youth for civic participation, instill values needed to maintain our democracy, and teach about subjects that are a very real part of our shared history and understanding. That is what makes California stronger each and every day.”

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Equality California is the nation’s largest statewide LGBTQ civil rights organization. We bring the voices of LGBTQ people and allies to institutions of power in California and across the United States, striving to create a world that is healthy, just, and fully equal for all LGBTQ people. We advance civil rights and social justice by inspiring, advocating and mobilizing through an inclusive movement that works tirelessly on behalf of those we serve. www.eqca.org


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