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Nancy Tray, et al. v. Florida State Board of Education, et al.

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The Southern Poverty Law Center and its partners filed a lawsuit on behalf of parents of public school students facing discrimination under a state law that fails to provide them with a process for appealing decisions banning books from school libraries despite providing an appeals process for parents seeking such bans.

This unequal law was passed in 2023 as a response to parents successfully convincing many local school boards to reject efforts by unrepresentative and extreme groups demanding censorship in schools. The law seeks to quell such efforts defending the freedom to read. It also saddles school districts with the cost of the appeal – discouraging them from rejecting a book challenge because of fear of a costly appeal.

The lawsuit, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Florida, describes how the law discriminates against the plaintiffs by excluding their viewpoint, a violation of their First Amendment right to freedom of speech.