Across the nation, there is an ongoing struggle occurring at the state and community levels. Conservative legislators and individuals are endeavoring to exclude educational content they deem unsuitable for children from being taught in schools. This encompasses subjects related to the LGBTQ+ community. The regulations safeguarding parental rights to control these discussions are predominantly established in conservative-leaning states.
Authorities in New York have sent out notifications to school districts at the local level, apprising them of their obligations regarding diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) in accordance with the law. Detractors argue that state officials are aiming to hinder local efforts to remove material deemed as inappropriate from educational institutions.
On the 9th of August, a joint communication was issued by New York’s Attorney General, Letitia James, and the Commissioner of Education, Betty Rosa. This letter was directed to Local Education Agencies (LEAs) with the purpose of informing them about their legal responsibility to prioritize dignity, inclusivity, and respect in their educational choices. The state mandates that all schools must establish an environment where children can receive education free from any concerns about discrimination, harassment, or intimidation.
LEAs are obligated to offer instructional materials and lessons that align with the standards of inclusiveness. This involves incorporating materials authored by individuals from diverse backgrounds into school curricula and enabling students to engage with content from various viewpoints. The guidance underscored that school districts could potentially breach the law through several means, which include:
- Banning books about black history or written from the perspective of black people.
- Removing diverse materials from classrooms under the “pretext of inappropriateness or lewdness.”
- Prohibiting conversations of white supremacy and slavery.
- Banning conversations about the LGBTQ+ community.
- Prohibiting racial and LGBTQ+ support groups from accessing resources available to the schools.
- Not allowing transgender students to use the facilities or join sports teams for their chosen gender.3
BREAKING:— Right Side of History™️ (@xxclusionary) August 20, 2023
Letitia James, the AG of New York, and Dr. Betty Rosa, the commissioner of education, have just released guidance on August 9th, 2023 that explicitly threaten schools in New York that if they prohibit curriculum under the "pretext" of lewdness, inappropriateness, or… pic.twitter.com/1WaLpwTX77
A well-known conservative platform, Breitbart, released an article discussing the issued guidance. In this piece, author Warner Todd Huston asserted that the state is endorsing an extreme LGBTQ+ agenda by compelling local school districts to comply with New York’s regulations.
Similar viewpoints were expressed by various individuals on social media. A particular user on X, contended that the state’s guidance resembles an assault on parents’ capacity to protect their children and on the mental well-being of these young individuals.
As per the perspective of conservatives, the provided guidance also promotes the transgender perspective within schools by compelling authorities to permit biologically male individuals to access girls’ locker rooms and restrooms. Furthermore, it restricts schools from requesting evidence from individuals, referred to as “trans kids,” regarding their pursuit of professional assistance for matters related to gender identity.