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Oklahoma lawmaker Rob Standridge (R-Norman) has introduced a bill that would give any parent the power to ban a book from any public school district, public charter school, or public school library. The legislation would also give parents the ability to seek “monetary damages including a minimum of $10,000 per day,” if the book requested for removal is not removed.
State Sen. Rob Standridge introduced Senate Bill 1142, which would allow parents to request that a book be removed from libraries in a school district.
The bill would give parents the ability to recommend banning all 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.”
Bill would give parents power to ban books
In the event that a parent believes a book violates the library’s guidelines, they may request in writing that it be removed.
A school employee who fails to remove a book within 30 days of the request will be dismissed or not rehired.
Critics of the measure say it’s unconstitutional, potentially causing chaos by giving a single parent the power to strip school library shelves. They also said the measure is targeting LGBTQ+ books.
Public school parents and grandparents have complained for a couple of years now about books with sexual content in school libraries according to Standridge. He said the books being promoted to school children are different from those in bookstores or even his local public library.
A few of the books he said he has concerns about include the “Trans Teen Survival Guide,” “Quick and Easy Guide to Queer and Trans Identities, “A Quick and Easy Guide to They/Them Pronouns,” and “The Art of Drag.”
“I just think that those are overly sexualized,” Standridge said. “I think parents and grandparents, guardians should have a say on whether their kids are exposed to those books. If they want them, they can take (their children) to their local library.”