Press Release

PRESS RELEASE: DFI Calls on Biden Administration to End its Illegal Intrusion Into Forsyth Public Schools Book Battle

WASHINGTON—The Defense of Freedom Institute for Policy Studies (DFI) is calling on the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR) to withdraw a baseless resolution agreement with Forsyth County Public Schools (FCPS) in Georgia.

This comes after OCR launched a months-long investigation of FCPS concerning the school district’s decision to remove eight books from the school library due to their sexually explicit content. The decision to remove the books was made after parents voiced concerns at school board meetings. During the investigation, OCR determined that FCPS had removed the books due to their sexually graphic nature, not because of the race, color, sex, gender identity, or sexual orientation of the characters. OCR also found that FCPS had returned seven of the eight books to school libraries prior to OCR’s investigation.

“This resolution agreement is the Department of Education’s equivalent of the NAACP’s recent travel advisory for the State of Florida. No civil rights violation occurred here, and it’s farcical to say otherwise,” said DFI President and Co-Founder Bob Eitel. “The agency should withdraw the resolution agreement, conclude its investigation, and leave the school district and parents of Forsyth County alone.”

In a letter sent today to Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights Catherine Lhamon, DFI’s Eitel and Paul Zimmerman state, “It is difficult to fathom how the temporary removal of eight books based on their sexually explicit content, followed by a review that resulted in the return of seven of these books to school libraries, could possibly give rise to a claim that the school” may have violated students’ civil rights. “If parents’ discussion with a school board regarding what books should or should not be on school library shelves, and a District’s careful review of such requests, are sufficient to constitute discrimination…then we have entered a bold new era of OCR enforcement where the agency gets to define ‘discrimination’ as whatever policy the current administration opposes.”

To read DFI’s full letter, click here.