In January, Superintendent Jeremy Glenn of the Granbury Independent School District voiced concerns to librarians about the graphic nature of certain books. Unbeknownst to Glenn, he was being recorded.
"I'm not saying that we're going to be pulling all of our books out or burning books or anything like that -- absolutely not," he said. "I think there is an absolute place probably for every book. It just may not be in a public school library."
Glenn also described the community and the school board as "conservative" and said that fact "ain't changing."
According to NBC News, the Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights notified Granbury school officials on December 6 that it had opened an investigation because of a complaint filed by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Texas in July.
While Glenn acknowledged in the recording that "there are men that think they are women and there are women that think they are men" and added that he does "not have any issues with what people want to believe," he also asserted that "there's no place for it in our libraries."
The ACLU argues that his comments, combined with the district's subsequent decision to remove dozens of library books pending a review, violated a federal law prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender and fostered a "pervasively hostile" environment for LGBTQ+ students.
The Education Department's decision to open the investigation into Granbury ISD signals to the ACLU that the agency is concerned about what one attorney describes as "a wave" of anti-LGBTQ policies and book removals nationally.