ACLU tells Mansfield school board library book policy endangers transgender students

The ACLU of Texas sent a letter to the Mansfield school board Tuesday afternoon urging trustees to reject proposed guidelines on challenging library materials and limiting content involving gender fluidity and sexually explicit materials.

The board is scheduled to discuss the policy during its 6 p.m. meeting Tuesday.

In the letter, which was addressed to school trustees and to Superintendent Kim Cantu, the ACLU stated that the policy violates the First Amendment rights of Mansfield students and that it would stigmatize students and employees.

A district spokesperson declined to comment because he had not seen the letter.

“The First Amendment protects the right to receive information and ideas, including for students in public school libraries,” the letter stated.

The proposed policy is sharply at odds with the First Amendment as it seeks to restrict access or ban books that discuss or depict gender fluidity, the ACLU’s letter stated.

The policy also restricts viewpoints as it bans or restricts books that mention transgender or non-binary people and characters., the ACLU said.

Besides violating the First Amendment, the ACLU stated that the policy also violates anti-discrimination laws. By stigmatizing transgender and non-binary students, the policy would contribute to increased bullying against them.