Image Credit: capitol.tn.gov
The Tennessee Conservative [By Paula Gomes] –
A bill with the purpose of helping to weed out objectionable books in the state’s school libraries in a timelier fashion passed out of the House Education Administration Committee yesterday.
Lynn explained that books that meet the definition of obscene in state law should not even come up for review or a vote by an LEA but should instead be removed. The bill states that books that contain nudity in whole or in part, descriptions or depictions of sexual excitement, sexual conduct, excess violence, or sadomasochistic abuse, as those terms are defined in Tennessee Code Annotated 39-17-901, is patently offensive, or appeals to the “prurient interest” must not be maintained in a school’s library collection.
The bill also sets a time limit of 60 days from when a complaint is filed about an obscene book in a school library collection. If a school board does not vote on a book, it will be deemed inappropriate, removed, and then sent for review to the Tennessee Textbook and Instructional Materials Quality Commission.
HB0843 also makes clear that an LEA does not create a “contemporary community standard” by accepting or rejecting books to include in a library collection.
Lynn also championed House Bill 0841 last week that seeks to remove the educational exception that allows schools to loan objectionable materials to students to begin with.
That bill passed out of the House Criminal Justice Committee on Tuesday and is also scheduled to be heard in the Calendar & Rules Committee today.
About the Author: Paula Gomes is a Tennessee resident and reporter for The Tennessee Conservative. You can reach Paula at firstname.lastname@example.org.