NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – The Tennessee House has passed a book ban bill signaling the next major step until the legislation reaches Governor Bill Lee’s desk.
The bill prohibits school districts from making material that is obscene or harmful to minors available to students.
The award-winning graphic novel, Maus, on the Holocaust is under the desk of Rep. Gloria Johnson (D-Knoxville). “You can pretend you’re not banning books, but you absolutely are,” she said.
Mauswho was banned from the program by the McMinn County School District due to objections to certain images in the book, began visible pressure to exclude certain texts from school use.
“They will continue to say this is not a bill to ban books — if you take a book out of a library in a school system, you ban that book,” Johnson said.
Johnson is referring to the GOP supermajority decision this week to ban books deemed “obscene.”
“Anything obscene or pornographic with the intent of distributing to minors that is illegal outside of K-12 will now be illegal inside K-12,” said the bill’s sponsor, Rep. Scott Cepicky (R-Culleoka).
Cepicky’s bill would give parents more power to remove a book and force local school boards to make a decision on content.
“Determine if a book that is appealed by a parent is objectionable, pornographic, obscene, or even grade-appropriate and they will take action on it,” Cepicky said.
And before the start of floor debate on the legislation, House GOP Caucus Leader Rep. Jeremy Faison (R-Cosby) offered to limit debate. “I propose a motion to limit this debate to two minutes per member,” he said.
“Here we have a bill banning books and we ban – we put a time limit on discussion of this ban – you know history never looks fondly on those who ban books,” Johnson said. .
Johnson, a former public school teacher, said this bill, like others, is a direct attack on public schools. “This is the last big pile of public tax dollars siphoned off by corporate America, hedge fund managers, venture capitalists and people who don’t have the best interests of the world at heart. child.”
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The book would be automatically deleted for 30 days if there are any objections.
The bill passed the House 63 to 24. The Senate passed the Education Committee’s companion bill.