Several left-wing librarians, teachers, and other school employees are trying to claim that the removal of inappropriate books from school libraries is a violation of their civil rights.
As reported by ABC News, three librarians who were recently fired have filed workplace discrimination claims with U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). They all claim that they were discriminated against when they were fired for promoting controversial, far-left material to students, including Critical Race Theory and the LGBTQ agenda.
One former librarian has already won a settlement with her former employer using this method. Brooky Parks, a librarian who was fired from the Erie Community Library north of Denver, Colorado, for promoting “anti-racism” material and pro-LGBTQ stories, received a $250,000 settlement in September. The settlement, which was reached through the Colorado Civil Rights Division, demands that the community library allow the librarians themselves to have more input in decisions involving the library programs.
The attorney who represented Parks, Iris Halpern of the Denver-based firm Rathod Mohamedbhai, is representing three other librarians making similar claims against their former employers.
“I just wasn’t going to back down from it. It was just the right thing to do,” said Parks, who has since been hired as a librarian at the University of Denver.
Other examples include Suzette Baker, a library director who was fired from the Llano County Library System in Kingsland, Texas in 2022, and Terri Lesley, former executive director of the Campbell County Public Library System in Gillette, Wyoming, who was fired last summer.
Halpern even went so far as to compare her clients to those who fought for civil rights in the 1960s.
“It is honestly sad that we’ve gotten to this point,” said Halpern. “But history is a constant struggle and we have to learn from our past.”
The EEOC was established by the 1964 Civil Rights Act in an effort to combat discrimination in the workplace. An investigation launched by the EEOC can last for over a year, at which point the EEOC may try to reach a settlement with the former employer rather than go to court; the agency may also sue on the former employee’s behalf, or otherwise issue a letter telling the former employee to sue on their own.
The battle over controversial material in schools has become one of the dominant political issues of recent years, with the promotion of race-based divisions and the sexualization of young children sparking widespread backlash across the country. Many conservative groups have flipped school boards in recent local elections, and subsequently banned books that include graphic novels with visual depictions of homosexual and pedophilic acts, as well as books that encourage students to hate other students, or themselves, based on their race.