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Arizona Lawmakers To Debate Proposed Ban On ‘Unsuitable’ Books In Schools

by | Sat, Mar 4 2023

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Arizona lawmakers will soon vote on a proposed law that requires the state Department of Education to maintain a ‘prohibited book list’ for its schools.

It would ban books that many parents considered ‘unsuitable.’

State Republican politicians say there’s no place for books of a sexual nature in public schools.

Under the bill’s provisions, the Department of Education is required to create rules and procedures for establishing and maintaining a list of books that public schools in Arizona may not use or make available to students, along with procedures for parents to submit books to be included on the list.

Critics claim that could lead to the marginalisation of transgender and gender fluid students.

The bill’s sponsor Senator Justine Wadsack insisted: “It isn’t meant to harm LGBT students, but aims to protect children from being groomed.”

One teacher raised concerns about giving parents veto power over a curriculum involving LGBT issues.

She told a state Senate committee that allowing parents to make decisions about what their children are taught is a “mistake.”

Academics argued that parents shouldn’t be deciding what books are suitable for children other than their own.

Other opponents claim literary classics like To Kill a Mockingbird, The Color Purple, The Great Gatsby and Of Mice and Men could be removed from schools.

They add that a law which took effect last year already bans books that reference or use sexually explicit material.

The Senate committee approved the bill which allows parents to petition the Department of Education to prohibit books they considered ‘unsuitable.’

It will now be debated in both chambers of the state legislature.

The Christian Post reports the fight for parental rights in public education has gained momentum after Republicans in the US Congress introduced a constitutional amendment to protect parental rights.

However, it has a very high threshold to be approved.

It must secure the support of two-thirds of both chambers of Congress and then be ratified by three-quarters of state legislatures.