Joe Biden promised to create a "book ban coordinator"

President Joe Biden promised to create a "book ban coordinator" along with a plethora of other measures to protect LGBTQ youth during Pride Month this past June. "LGBTQ Americans, especially children: You're loved, you're heard, and this administration has your back, I mean it," Biden stated during a press conference. We won't stop working until they are safe, not even for a second. Three months ago, Biden gave a coordinator for the book ban. He has yet to specify one. The position was established by the president along with other initiatives aimed at defending LGBTQ students. However, almost three months later, there has been no external activity toward filling the position. Karine Jean-Pierre, the press secretary for the White House, was recently questioned about the position as students began to return to their classes and libraries. She denied having one and sent journalists to the Education Department. When the coordinator position indicated by Biden would be filled was a query that the Education Department's spokesperson did not respond to. Instead, the spokeswoman stated that as the department informs school districts of "resources and trainings" in the upcoming weeks, a "senior official" working in the department will assist in enforcing federal civil rights legislation. One of the more prominent blows Biden has delivered in the cultural wars is his attempt to counteract conservative efforts to ban access to certain books, particularly those that deal with sexuality and race. Opponents have referred to it as government overreach, with Fox News pundits making fun of the concept of a "book ban coordinator" soon after it was revealed and others comparing the task of policing published works that address sexual identity to enforcing porn laws. But as part of a larger argument that Republicans are attempting to curtail freedoms and take back rights, Biden has made opposing these book restrictions a part of his reelection campaign's opening theme.,output Even educators themselves are seeking direction. Local leaders in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, which Biden won in 2020 but is now represented by Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick (R-Pa.), have been successful in removing books from school libraries. Officially defined as library policy 109.2, the county's prohibitions apply to publications that have "sexualized content" or "implied depictions of sexual acts." The co-founder of Advocates for Inclusive Education, Katherine Semisch, has fought against limits in Bucks County but believes that the lack of clarity exposes teachers to risk. “You go to school and you do your best, then somebody calls your principal, and the next thing you know you are in deep hot water for something that you did in innocence and only with the best intentions toward the kids at heart,” Semisch told West Wing Playbook. “Like who wants that job?” Aside from providing educators with more clarity on how to navigate the restrictions, a “book ban coordinator” — or whatever title the administration picks — could demonstrate that the administration cares about the issue as much as they profess to. The Education Department has worked with some school districts to resolve cases brought forth by parents who believe book restrictions are creating hostile environments for students. The department’s Office of Civil Rights recently required a Georgia school district to commit to supporting students after community members expressed concerns that restrictions were excluding diverse authors, including those with LGBTQ backgrounds.


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