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New Florida Law Would Make it a Felony to Buy ‘Objectionable’ Literature For Public Classrooms

Also on the chopping block: evolution and climate change…

Tallahassee (WTFF) – Bills in the House and Senate propose a law that would ban any books with “prohibited” content from public school classrooms, and charge employees and volunteers who provide such materials to students with a felony.

HB 855 and SB 1454 aim to ban much of what several lawmakers and lobbyists find “objectionable.”

If the bill becomes a law, it would “remove materials that are pornographic or prohibited under s. 847.012,” including drawings and sculptures of the human body, and anything deemed “explicit.”

Anyone caught purchasing “prohibited” material intending to distribute it to students would be charged with one felony per book.

The bill also gives any resident of Florida the option to sue for an injunction to remove any material they don’t like.

HB 855 / SB 1154

The legislation is sponsored by Rep. Mike Hill, R-Pensacola, and Sen. Debbie Mayfield, R-Vero Beach.

Florida Citizens Alliance is backing the bill. The managing director Keith Flaugh, who sat on a DeSantis education advisory committee, said, “We have documented almost 100 textbooks and novels that violate [Florida] statutes.” (Tampa Bay Times)

Their 2018 Objectionable Materials Curriculum Report (updated November 2018) mentions “stories of marital infidelity, promiscuity, masturbation,” etc.

Books they aim to ban from the classroom include Angela’s Ashes, Clockwork Orange, The Bluest Eye, The Awakening, The Women of Brewster Place and more, lamenting that these “stories of prostitution, suicides, Lesbianism” and other real life issues are attempting to “usurp the family’s responsibility to teach family values.”

They also complain of “stories depicting ‘victims’ of capitalism, and the bigoted, sexist, racist ‘American Culture’ where whites victimize Indians, Mexican immigrants, women, Japanese, Chinese, African-American, and animals,” as if none aforementioned atrocities ever happened in the United States…

The report attacks “unacceptable Islamic religious indoctrination,” referring to world history and social study books.

They call a video on climate change “propaganda.”

Complaining about science books, they aim to remove anything that teaches facts on “evolution” and “man-made global warming.”

Brandon Haught, a leader with Florida Citizens for Science and a Volusia County classroom teacher, said the bills pose a “clear and present danger” to public education.

Florida Citizens Alliance members “want to bully the school boards into complying with them,” Haught said. (Tampa Bay Times)

Groups like the Florida Education Defenders are working to fight against book censorship in public schools.

TheComic Book Legal Defense Fund has published a fact sheet about these bills and two others, SB 330 and HB 195.

So far, the bills have not been scheduled for hearings, but this is Florida, so anything could happen.

Read a Banned Book to Defend the First Amendmen

More reports:

Science Education not important in Florida senate

Florida Man Gonna Save Kids From All That Porn In School Libraries

Florida Bill Would Make Banning Books Easier

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New Florida Law Would Make it a Felony to Buy ‘Objectionable’ Literature For Public Classrooms

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5 years ago

So anything that isn’t white man supreme is objectionable? Let’s sell Florida to Cuba.