GLSEN applauds the Vermont Legislature for Preventing Censorship in Schools

For Immediate Release: January 12, 2024


GLSEN applauds the Vermont Legislature for Preventing Censorship in Schools

January 12, 2024GLSEN, the leading education organization dedicated to protecting LGBTQ+ youth, applauds the Vermont legislature for taking the first step in filing bills H.806 and H.807, which will prevent the censorship of literature in public schools and libraries. GLSEN applauds the 40 Representatives in Vermont legislature who are co-sponsoring the bills and fighting for inclusive representation in K-12 schools for LGBTQ+ youth. GLSEN encourages states to pursue similar efforts to promote inclusive learning by prohibiting the removal of LGBTQ+-oriented public library materials in their states, especially when challenges to such materials are driven by a political agenda.

As the nation grapples with attacks from conservative groups who continue to pursue an agenda that disproportionately targets LGBTQ+ literature, this proactive step in Vermont is a beacon of hope for our underrepresented communities. A survey by PEN America recently reported at least “1,477 instances of individual books banned, affecting 874 unique titles“ during the first half of the 2022-23 school year; this number will continue to increase as book banners target stories by and about people of color and LGBTQ+ individuals. In this six-month period, 30% of the unique titles banned are books about race, racism, or feature characters of color. Meanwhile, 26% of unique titles banned have LGBTQ+ characters or themes.

Vermont is currently one of the only states that hasn’t made an attempt to censor books and GLSEN commends Lt. Gov Zuckerman for his leadership on the issue. With similar legislation to prevent book banning being passed this year in Illinois and California, the organization applauds Vermont and state legislators across the country for following suit in the advocacy for educational freedom.

The following statement is from GLSEN’s Executive Director, Melanie Willingham-Jaggers (they/she):

“Banning books from school libraries deprives children of the opportunity to see themselves reflected in stories and leaves students without a powerful avenue to understand the diversity of our nation. Overwhelmingly, book banners continue to target stories by and about people of color and LGBTQ+ individuals. Today, we applaud Lt. Governor Zuckerman for leading the fight against book bans in Vermont and members of the Vermont Legislature for filing bills to combat book bans in the state. We know that an inclusive school curriculum — including access to books about LGBTQ+ people and people of color — can act as a window for students into the diverse world around them, as well as a mirror to reflect their own experiences and identities. Thank you to Rep. Farlice-Rubio, Rep. McCann, Rep. Chesnut-Tangerman, and the over 40 Representatives in the Vermont legislature for rising up and giving students the opportunity to feel seen and included."

For press inquiries, please reach out to:

Madison Hamilton, Director of Communications and Public Voice

Lucky Break PR
Mike Stommel, Lucky Break PR



GLSEN is a multi-racial intergenerational LGBTQ+ organization working nationally and locally to transform K-12 educational systems in the United States. Each year, GLSEN programs and resources reach millions of students and educators in K-12 schools, via action at the national, state, and local level. Since 1990, GLSEN has improved conditions for LGBTQ+ students across the United States and helped launch an international movement to address LGBTQ+ issues in education.