Oklahoma lawmakers are apparently taking a similar approach to book banning as the Texas legislature took to abortion. Earlier his month, State Senator Rob Standridge presented Senate Bill 1142 to the legislature, which reads that:
No public school district, public charter school, or public school library shall maintain in its inventory or promote books that make as their primary subject the study of sex, sexual preferences, sexual activity, sexual perversion, sex-based classifications, sexual identity, or gender identity or books that are of a sexual nature that a reasonable parent or legal guardian would want to know of or approve of prior to their child being exposed to it.
If a parent learns about a book in their kids' school library that GASP! acknowledges the existence of sex, they can submit a written request to the school district to have the book removed. If the school or library fails to comply within 30 days, the employee tasked with removing the book will be fired and cannot be rehired for a period of at least 2 years.
Conveniently, the bill also clarifies that the only person who can remove a book (i.e., "the employee tasked with removing a book," according to the text) must be a school administrator.
Also, if that administrator fails to remove the book, then the parent or legal guardian:
may seek monetary damages including a minimum of Ten Thousand Dollars ($10,000) per day the book requested for removal is not removed, reasonable attorney fees, and court costs.
Surely nothing will go wrong by letting parents threaten principals with arbitrary book bans!
Standridge also proposed an accompanying bill that would prevent schools from requiring students to take any class that teaches "concepts relating to gender, sexual, or racial diversity, equality or inclusion."
Standridge files bills to address indoctrination in Oklahoma schools [Oklahoma Senate]
OK Bill Would Pay Parents $10K Each Day Their Nominated Banned Books Remain in Libraries [Justin Klawans / Newsweek]
Image: Carmichael Library / Flickr (CC-BY-SA 2.0)