Here are the states doling out jail time and/or fines for ‘harmful’ or ‘obscene’ material given to children

Five states have now enacted laws and a dozen others are considering ones that could potentially land school librarians in prison for years and fine them tens of thousands of dollars if they are caught giving students obscene materials, typically in the form of banned books.

Books that are obscene and basically pornographic have become a hot topic in states across the nation as parents fight to have them removed from library shelves and leftists fight to keep them there.

The new laws have the potential to subject librarians to harsh penalties that the left is screeching over. The laws kick in if a librarian is found to have provided sexually explicit, obscene, or books deemed “harmful” to children. Librarians were previously exempt from prosecution over obscene materials in almost every state.

At least seven state legislatures have made the move to pass these types of laws over the last two years. Six of them have done so in the last two months. It should be noted that the governors of Idaho and North Dakota have vetoed this type of legislation, according to the Daily Mail.

The laws intended to protect children from obscene materials are pending in nine other states. There hasn’t been an instance where any school staffer has been charged under the new laws so far.

This year alone, roughly a dozen states are considering over 20 similar bills with approximately half of them expecting to be reintroduced in 2024. According to the Daily Mail, laws in Idaho, Arkansas, Indiana, Missouri, North Dakota, and Oklahoma could result in fines or imprisonment, or both, for school employees and librarians.

Tennessee goes even further and takes aim at schools, book publishers, and vendors who sell the books to schools.

The left is contending that the laws could create a “climate of fear” among school librarians leading to censorship, especially against LGBTQ individuals.

“It will make sure the only literature students are exposed to fits into a narrow scope of what some people want the world to look like,” Keith Gambill, the president of the teachers union in Indiana, predictably told The Washington Post in an interview. “This is my 37th year in education. I’ve never seen anything like this. … We are entering a very frightening period.”

Staffers could face a $10,000 fine or be jailed for 2-and-a-half years in Indiana for doling out obscene or harmful material to minors, according to the Daily Mail. School employees and public library staffers in Oklahoma could face a $20,000 fine or be sentenced to 10 years in jail for facilitating “indecent exposure to obscene material or child pornography.”

Book publishers, distributors, and sellers in Tennessee could face six years in prison and up to $103,000 in fines. Librarians in Indiana and other states have preemptively removed books on topics dealing with LGBTQ issues, sex, race, and violence from their shelves. Parents are cheering the development while leftists are having a meltdown over it.

The Association of School Administrators in Idaho handed out a list of 25 titles that could land librarians in hot water. Those include, “This Book is Gay” and “Beyond Magenta: Transgender Teens Speak Out.”

Maia Kobabe’s “Gender Queer” was fought back against the most in 2021 and 2022 by parents, according to the American Library Association. The book features a nonbinary person and highlights masturbation and a scene where a teen prepares to perform oral sex on an older, bearded man.

Jonathan Evison’s “Lawn Boy,” Angie Thomas’ “The Hate U Give” and a book-length edition of the “1619 Project,” the New York Times revisionist history on the legacy of slavery in the US are all being targeted for removal.

Source: Daily Mail

Currently, according to the Daily Mail, there are no book-banning laws in place in Florida. But Governor Ron DeSantis has approved laws to review reading materials and limit classroom discussion of gender identity and he has had books pulled indefinitely or temporarily that include John Green’s “Looking for Alaska,” Colleen Hoover’s “Hopeless,” Margaret Atwood’s dystopian novel “The Handmaid’s Tale,” and Grace Lin’s picture story “Dim Sum for Everyone!”

DeSantis has clapped back at accusations of mass book bannings as a “hoax.” He contended in a statement released in May that “some are attempting to use our schools for indoctrination.”

According to the American Library Association which released a report on Thursday, attempted book bans and restrictions at school and public libraries have set a new record.

“I’ve never seen anything like this,” Deborah Caldwell-Stone, who directs the ALA’s Office for Intellectual Freedom, asserted. “The last two years have been exhausting, frightening, outrage-inducing.”

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