Civil Rights Orgs Tell Congress: Reject Book Bans and Bigotry

230 civil rights groups call for support of the Bill of Rights for Students and Parents (H.Res. 219) and condemn Student Exclusion Act (H.R. 5).

The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, joined by 229 national, state, and local civil and human rights and education organizations, called on Congress to support H.Res. 219, the Bill of Rights for Students and Parents.

The resolution serves as an inclusive path forward in stark contrast to the discriminatory, harmful language of H.R. 5, which will only serve to keep vulnerable students less safe. 

The letter states: “As the civil and human rights community, we have fought for more than 100 years for the rights of all students and parents to attend and be fully included in well-resourced public schools that prepare them for their futures. The Bill of Rights for Students and Parents sets forth a vision respecting and honoring the dignity and worth of every child — a vision supported by the overwhelming majority of parents in the country. In contrast, H.R. 5 seeks to undermine the relationship between parents and teachers, to facilitate book banning, and to make our most marginalized children less safe. 

“During this time in which proponents of discrimination and exclusion are creating policies and legislation to harm students and undermine the learning environment for everyone, support for developing supportive, inclusive, safe, and responsive public schools could not be more important. In a recent national survey, 80 percent or more of parents said that it was very or extremely important that their child be honest, ethical, hardworking, helpful to those in need, and accepting of people who are different from them. It is these parental values that are reflected in H.Res. 219. No matter our color, background, or zip code, we want our kids to have an education that imparts honesty about who we are, integrity in how we treat others, and courage to do what’s right.”

Liz King, senior director of the education equity program at The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, said of the The Bill of Rights for Students and Parents: “What the majority of parents want for children — the chance to learn, grow, and thrive — should be guiding Congress’s work, instead of a narrow agenda of exclusion and bigotry. The civil rights community rejects mean-spirited attacks by some in Congress, attempts to whitewash history, and efforts to exclude LGBTQ+ families. We urge all members of Congress to speak up and speak out for the right to learn with and from people different from one another, the right to be treated with respect and dignity, and the opportunity to work together towards an inclusive future. We can and must do better for the sake of our children and our country.”

Read the full letter here

The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights is a coalition charged by its diverse membership of more than 230 national organizations to promote and protect the rights of all persons in the United States. The Leadership Conference works toward an America as good as its ideals. For more information on The Leadership Conference and its member organizations, visit