Escambia County Mother Files Lawsuit Against School District Over Her Daughters’ Education

Concerning her children, Lindsay Durtschi has no worries. Her children will be raised in a family where they are taught to accept and value individuals who hold diverse opinions.

They will always have easy access to books that interest them. They will always have a resource to turn to if they have inquiries regarding challenging subjects. When questions come up, difficult conversations will start.

Mother of two, PTA member, optometrist, and plaintiff in PEN America’s lawsuit against Escambia County Schools over the book ban, Durtschi isn’t concerned about her children. However, she is worried for the other kids who lack these assurances.

“At the end of the day, my kids are going to get a healthy, comprehensive collection of — whether it be reading material, knowledge, or history — the good, the bad and the ugly of our country and our state. They’re hopefully going to get that at home … but so many kids aren’t,” Durtschi says. “Once I began to learn and think legally what this law was doing for those kids — I couldn’t be quiet anymore.”

What Does The PEN America Lawsuit Entail?

Pen America and Penguin Random House, the nation’s largest publisher, filed a federal lawsuit claiming the Escambia County Public Schools’ book restrictions are unlawful and demanding their reinstatement to school libraries.

Escambia County Mother Files Lawsuit Against School District Over Her Daughters' Education

The lawsuit demands that public education provide students with a varied curriculum. It also claims Escambia County removed or restricted books from school libraries for decades to exclude particular views.

The school board is accused of breaching the First Amendment by eliminating and banning race, racism, and LGBTQ+ materials. The lawsuit claims the school district prioritizes censorship over education.

The lawsuit claims the school system and board violate the Equal Protection Clause. Non-white and LGBTQ+ authors write most of the novels removed, which often address race and identity.


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