Legislation of Concern

Politicians in state legislatures across the country have filed bills that are detrimental to our school libraries and public libraries. Some of this legislation calls for the arrest and incarceration of librarians.

Politicians in state legislatures across the country have filed bills that are detrimental to our school libraries and public libraries. 

There are important and troubling patterns in how these bills are designed. We have identified a few common trends among these problematic bills that keep coming up again and again: 

  1. Creates strict requirements regarding the materials that are allowed in class or in school libraries, often directly opposed to current state education standards.
  2. Requires school districts to post instructional materials online so parents can object.
  3. Claims that library databases contain materials that are harmful to minors.
  4. Eliminates or downgrades a public library board's role in reviewing and answering materials challenges
  5. Removes the "defense from prosecution" (defense to criminal prosecutions from librarians and others for providing access to so-called "harmful materials". 
  6. Defunds schools and public libraries that allow access to so-called “harmful materials”.
  7. Prohibits discussions relating to race and sex in ways that they consider “coercive”.
  8. Prohibits discussions that are LGBTQ positive.

Sign the petition to fight against book banning and the incarceration of librarians in the United States.


Some of the legislation goes as far as eliminating the oversight role that locally elected and appointed school boards and public libraries have with materials challenges. In other cases, it expands the definitions of prohibited speech for educators which effectively silences them. When legislators across the country attempt to limit what educators can teach and what school librarians can collect, curate, and make available for their students, we have to fight these bills for what they are: a direct attack on the mission and work of librarians. Here at EveryLibrary, we don't think that librarians and teachers should be put at risk of losing their job - or the school losing funding - because of legislation that limits the materials students can access.

EveryLibrary has identified numerous states where bills have been introduced that would restrict teaching about race and sex, censor school library collections, or limit access to educational databases. If enacted, these bills will make it difficult for educators and school librarians to do their jobs. If enacted, public libraries could even be criminalized for their collections. 

At EveryLibrary, we do more than track bad bills. We are actively organizing and educating the public about these concerns and are on the ground supporting our librarian colleagues through coalitions and direct action. If you are in a school that is affected and need help, please reach out. If you are interested in taking action too, please join us in this fight today. 

 


Updated - May 1, 2022

Arizona

SB1058 An act relating to learning materials and activities 
Summary: would require schools to post all learning materials online so parents might object to certain resources or lesson plans. A parent’s objection would necessitate finding a new assignment. 
Status: Dead/Failed
https://apps.azleg.gov/BillStatus/BillOverview/74364

HB2370 Schools; materials; activities; posting; review
Summary: provides for parental review of various instructional and learning materials including print and digital materials while creating a review and challenge process with a right to sue and penalties of up to $15,000 for infringement. 
Status: withdrawn 2/10/22
https://apps.azleg.gov/BillStatus/BillOverview/76848

HB2439 
Summary: Requires procedures in schools by which parents have access to the school library catalog and may receive a list of books and materials borrowed from the library by their child. Adds a public right of review of school library materials. Established an equivalent statute for charter schools. Requires that schools publish the titles of all school library materials purchased within 60 days of purchase. Provides for certain exemptions.
Status: Passed House and Senate, sent to Governor 4/25/22
https://apps.azleg.gov/BillStatus/BillOverview/76930

 

Florida

H1467 K-12 Education
Summary: Amends existing statute to require school librarians, media specialists, and other personnel involved in the selection of school district library materials to complete the training program developed pursuant to s. 1006.29(6) before reviewing and selecting age-appropriate materials and library resources. Establishes a process for the state Commissioner of Education to publish and regularly update a list of materials that were removed or discontinued as a result of an objection and disseminate the list to school districts for consideration in their selection procedures.
Status: Passed and Signed 3/25/22
https://www.flsenate.gov/Session/Bill/2022/1467

H1557 Parental Rights in Education (the "Don't Say Gay" Bill)
Summary: Requires district school boards to adopt procedures that comport with certain provisions of law for notifying student's parent of specified information; requires such procedures to reinforce fundamental right of parents to make decisions regarding upbringing & control of their children; prohibits school district from adopting procedures or student support forms that prohibit school district personnel from notifying parent about specified information or that encourage student to withhold from parent such information; prohibits school district personnel from discouraging or prohibiting parental notification & involvement in critical decisions affecting student's mental, emotional, or physical well-being; prohibits classroom discussion about sexual orientation or gender identity in certain grade levels; requires school districts to notify parents of healthcare services; authorizes parent to bring action against school district to obtain declaratory judgment; provides for additional award of injunctive relief, damages, & reasonable attorney fees & court costs to certain parents.
Status: Passed and Signed 3/29/22
https://www.flsenate.gov/Session/Bill/2022/1557

H6087 An act relating to the distribution of harmful materials to minors
Summary: Creates strict criteria for school materials, including materials available through libraries. Requires each local board of education to adopt a policy providing for a complaint resolution process to be used by its local school system to address complaints submitted by parents or guardians alleging that material that is harmful to minors has been provided or is currently available to a student
Status: Died in Early Learning & Elementary Education Subcommittee 3/14/22
https://www.flsenate.gov/Session/Bill/2022/6087/?Tab=BillHistory
See also: H1305 - Materials Harmful to Minors for a similar bill
Died in Early Learning & Elementary Education Subcommittee 3/14/22
http://www.flsenate.gov/Session/Bill/2022/1305

S0148
Summary: Adds a provision for public review of library books and reference books and expands the definition to explicitly include materials "used to teach reproductive health or any disease, including HIV/AIDS". (among other provisions) ...prohibiting instructional materials reviewers from recommending instructional materials that contain any matter that contradicts certain principles, etc.
Status: 3/14/2022 Senate - Died in Rules
https://www.flsenate.gov/Session/Bill/2022/148

 

Georgia

SB226 Sale or Distribution of Harmful Materials to Minors; provisions of Code Section 16-12-103 shall be applicable to libraries operated by schools
Summary: Requires each local board of education to adopt a policy providing for a complaint resolution process to be used by its local school system to address complaints submitted by parents or guardians alleging that material that is harmful to minors has been provided or is currently available to a student
Status: Passed 4/7/22
https://www.legis.ga.gov/legislation/59932

 

Hawaii

HR109 House Resolution urging to create a task force that will ensure the protection of child exploitation from online research databases
Summary: Claims online research databases (EBSCO, ProQuest, Gale, Explora, Academic OneFile, MAS Ultra, 10 and MasterFile) have facilitated and attributed to the rapid ascent of online sexual exploitation in K-12 schools and libraries. Creates a task force that ensures Hawaii is compliant with federal laws and regulations
Status: 3/14/22 Referred to Health, Human Services, and Homelessness and Judiciary & Hawaiian Affairs 
https://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/session2021/bills/HR109_.HTM

 

Idaho

HB666 TO REMOVE A PROVISION REGARDING AN AFFIRMATIVE DEFENSE AND TO MAKE TECHNICAL CORRECTIONS
Summary: Removes the exemption from prosecution for public libraries, schools, colleges and universities, and museums for obsenity or distribution of material harmful to minors.
Status: Died in Senate committee after passing the House
https://legislature.idaho.gov/sessioninfo/2022/legislation/h0666/ 

Indiana

HB1538 A bill for an act to amend the Indiana Code concerning education
Summary: A digital resource purchased or licensed by a school must have safety policies and technology protection measures to filter or block access to obscene or pornographic material. Provides that a digital resource provider is in breach of contract if the digital resource provider fails to have safety policies and technology protection measures to filter or block access to obscene or pornographic material within 90 days of the date the school provides notice to the digital resource provider of its noncompliance.
Status: Dead/Failed 11/15/21
http://iga.in.gov/legislative/2021/bills/house/1538/

HB1097 Material Harmful to minors
Summary: Removes the defense to prosecution for dissemination of matter or conducting a performance harmful to minors that the matter was disseminated or displayed to or that the performance was performed before the recipient by a bona fide school, museum, or public library that qualifies for certain property tax exemptions, or by an employee of such a school, museum, or public library acting within the scope of the employee's employment
Status: Referred to Courts and Criminal Code 1/4/22 - - Died at end of session
http://iga.in.gov/legislative/2022/bills/house/1097/

SB0167/HB1134 Education Matters
Summary: Removes schools and certain public libraries from the list of entities eligible for a specified defense to criminal prosecutions alleging: (1) the dissemination of material harmful to minors; or (2) a performance harmful to minors. Provides that a state educational institution, the school corporation may not include or promote certain concepts as part of a course of instruction in a curriculum or direct or otherwise compel a school employee or student to adhere to certain tenets relating to the individual's sex, race, ethnicity, religion, color, national origin, or political affiliation
Status: Referred to Education and Career Development 1/4/22 - - Died at end of session
http://iga.in.gov/legislative/2022/bills/senate/167/

HB1362 Education Matters
Summary: While SB0167/HB1134 (above) defines penalties and punishments around materials of concern in schools, HB1362 focuses on the definitions of what materials are considered problematic and creates new mechanisms for parental review of materials, curriculum, and standards. It also prohibits the teaching of topics like race, sex and sexuality, or "anti-American" ideology.  
Status: Introduced 1/11/22 - Died at end of session
http://iga.in.gov/legislative/2022/bills/house/1362/

 

Iowa

HF274 An Act relating to obscene material disseminated to a minor
Summary: A person affiliated with a public or private elementary or secondary school or library, or public library who knowingly disseminates to any minor any material the person knows, or reasonably should know, is obscene or harmful to minors, is guilty of an aggravated misdemeanor
Status: Referred to Judiciary
https://www.legis.iowa.gov/legislation/BillBook?ga=89&ba=HF274


HSB705 / SF2349 
Summary: Eliminates the requirement that school librarians in certain K-12 schools have a Master's Degree [among other provisions]
Status: Renumbered as HF2498 and on the calendar 3/17/22 via https://www.legis.iowa.gov/legislation/BillBook?ga=89&ba=HF2498


HF802
Summary: An Act providing for requirements related to racism or sexism trainings at, and diversity and inclusion efforts by, governmental agencies and entities, school districts, and public postsecondary educational institutions.
Status: Passed and signed into law by the Governor 6/8/21
https://www.legis.iowa.gov/legislation/BillBook?ga=89&ba=HF802


HF2321 - An Act relating to the placement of books and other materials in city libraries.
Summary: The bill would allow a city council to overturn a library board’s decision about books were subject to a complaint, especially with regard to their location in the library. 
Status: Introduced 2/17/22
https://www.legis.iowa.gov/legislation/BillBook?ga=89&ba=HF2321 

Kentucky

SB167 An Act related to Library Boards
Summary: Would require the terms of library board members to expire as of January 1, 2023 and establish requirements for new members. Allows the county judge/executive with the approval of the fiscal court to appoint the first members of the newly created library board and to fill vacancies of the library board. Creates new authority for libraries to lease and build to lease buildings for use by educational institutions, among other provisions.
Status: Governor's Veto overridden - Public Law
https://apps.legislature.ky.gov/record/22RS/sb167.html

 

Maryland

HB196 An Act concerning Public Schools and County Boards of Education – Publication of School Library Catalogs
Summary: Requires public schools to provide a copy of the school's library catalog to the county board of education.
Status: 1/27/22 Hearing
https://mgaleg.maryland.gov/mgawebsite/Legislation/Details/hb0196?ys=2022RS

 

Minnesota

SF1016/HF467 An act relating to education; establishing provisions for digital and online library database resources for students; requiring a report
Summary: A school district, public charter school, state agency, public library, or university may offer digital or online library database resources to students in kindergarten through grade 12 only if the vendor or other person or entity providing the resources verifies that all the resources will comply with safety standards
Status: Referred to Education Finance and Policy 1/18/22
https://www.revisor.mn.gov/bills/bill.php?b=House&f=HF0467&ssn=0&y=2021


HF3436 Parents Rights
Summary: Would require that each school with a school library catalog or documented inventory post a list of all the resources available to students in its school library along with a listing of available resources in the library among other provisions. Sets up a Parents Bill of Rights for MN schools. 
Status: In Education Policy Committee 2/15/22
https://www.revisor.mn.gov/bills/bill.php?b=House&f=HF3436&ssn=0&y=2021

 

Missouri

SB740 This act modifies and creates various provisions relating to elementary and secondary education
Summary: The State Board of Education shall draft standards for the Missouri School Improvement Program that evaluate local school board compliance with certain provisions regarding instructional materials as provided in the act. Prohibits teaching considered of any orthodoxy of a political, religious, or ideological nature
Status: Prefiled 12/1/21
https://www.senate.mo.gov/22info/BTS_Web/Bill.aspx?SessionType=R&BillID=71259845

 

Nebraska

LB1213 
Summary: A BILL FOR AN ACT relating to obscenity; to provide powers and duties to school districts, schools, and the Nebraska Library Commission relating to digital or online resources provided to students in kindergarten through grade twelve and access to materials obscene as to minors or harmful to minors; to require the Nebraska Library Commission and the State Department of Education to submit a report; to provide a civil cause of action; to provide an irrebuttable presumption that a vendor, person, or entity providing resources under this act has knowledge of the content provided; and to define terms.
Status: In Judiciary with amendment 3/16/22
https://nebraskalegislature.gov/bills/view_bill.php?DocumentID=47720

LB282 An act to change provisions related to obscenity
Summary: Repeals the exemption from prosecution for those in educational institutions providing obscenity to minors in grades K-12, including libraries
Status: Judiciary Committee
https://nebraskalegislature.gov/bills/view_bill.php?DocumentID=43460


LB1077 Prohibit public schools, public postsecondary institutions, and governmental entities from training or teaching certain concepts relating to race and sex and provide for withholding of state funds
Summary: in progress
Status
: Referred to Government, Military and Veterans Affairs Committee
https://nebraskalegislature.gov/bills/view_bill.php?DocumentID=46904

 

New Jersey

S2685 - Subjects teachers and school districts to penalties for teaching critical race theory.
Summary: Prohibits teaching of critical race theory in public schools; prohibits teachers from engaging in political, ideological, or religious advocacy in the classroom. Provides for discipline or dismissal of the teacher and civil penalties of up to $5,000 against the district.
Status: Introduced 5/19/22
https://www.njleg.state.nj.us/bill-search/2022/S2685

 

North Carolina

H324 An act to demonstrate the general assembly’s intent that students, teachers, administrators, and other school employees recognize the equality and rights of all persons and to prohibit public school units from promoting certain concepts 
Summary: Limits instruction involving race and sex. Public school units shall notify the Department of Public Instruction and make general information available on the public school unit's website, with detailed information available upon request.
Status: Passed by the legislature but Vetoed 9/10/21
https://www.ncleg.gov/BillLookUp/2021/h324

SB700 An act to require balanced political viewpoints in the implementation of public school instruction and to require the online display of information about instructional materials
Summary: Emphasizes “balanced” political viewpoints must be taught to students. All instruction materials must be displayed for parents to see. 
Status: Referred to Rules and Operations of the Senate
https://www.ncleg.gov/BillLookUp/2021/S700

 

Ohio

HB327 Prohibiting teaching, advocating, or promoting divisive concepts
Summary: Prohibits school districts and state institutions of higher education from teaching “divisive concepts.” Requires the Department of Education to withhold funding from a school district or school that violates the bill’s provisions until such time as the district or school complies.
Status: Referred to State and Local Government
https://ohiohouse.gov/legislation/134/hb327

 

Oklahoma

SB1142
Summary: An Act relating to schools; prohibiting certain schools and school libraries from maintaining or promoting certain books; prohibits public school districts, public charter schools, and public school libraries from maintaining in their inventory or promoting books that address the study of sex, sexual preferences, sexual activity, sexual perversion, sex-based classifications, sexual identity, gender identity, or books that contain content of a sexual nature that a reasonable parent or legal guardian would want to know about or approve of before their child is exposed to it. The bill allows a parent or legal guardian of a student who believes a book is in violation of the bill’s prohibitions to submit a written request to the school district superintendent or charter school administrator to remove the book. It requires the book to be removed within 30 days, and if it is not, the employee tasked with removing the book is to be dismissed or not reemployed.
Status: Reported 'Do Pass' by Senate Education Committee 3/1/22
https://legiscan.com/OK/text/SB1142/id/2460071

HB2988
Summary: An Act relating to education; prohibiting the use of the 1619 Project in certain institutions; prohibiting teaching certain concepts pertaining to America and slavery; providing penalties for violation; preempting field of study; nullifying subsequent federal action; providing for codification; and providing an effective date.
Status: In Committee 2/8/22
http://www.oklegislature.gov/BillInfo.aspx?Bill=hb2988&Session=2200

HB3702
Summary: Requires public schools, universities, state agencies, and public libraries to have technology protection measures for their digital or online library databases that prevent K-12th grade students from viewing or receiving obscene material. If a provider of online library resources fails to comply, the state entity is required to withhold payment to the provider. Removes exemption around obscene materials for schools, public libraries, and universities, among others. 
Status: Passed House, in Senate Education Committee 3/29/22
http://www.oklegislature.gov/BillInfo.aspx?Bill=hb3702&Session=2200

HB4012 
Summary: An Act relating to schools; requiring school board to approve a written policy establishing the process to challenge certain materials; creating a community standards review board; prohibiting certain materials; providing for notification; specifying who can file a complaint; listing contents of complaint; directing review of complaints; providing rating system for board to use in its review [among other provisions].
Status: In Committee 2/8/22
http://www.oklegislature.gov/BillInfo.aspx?Bill=hb4012&Session=2200

 

South Carolina

H4605: Freedom from ideological coercion and indoctrination
Summary: Prevent schools and state-funded entities from teaching about race and sex in ways that are deemed “coercive.”
Status: Referred to Education and Public Works
https://legiscan.com/SC/bill/H4605/2021

H4343 Academic Integrity Act
Summary: Prohibits teaching, use, or promotion of the 1619 Project or certain other tenets, will withhold funding for noncompliance, provides requirements for public schools seeking federal grants related to history or social studies education
Status: Referred to Education and Public Works
https://www.scstatehouse.gov/sess124_2021-2022/bills/4343.htm

 

South Dakota

HB1012: Protect students and employees at institutions of higher education from divisive concepts.
Summary:  Limits discussions of race, color, religion, sex, ethnicity, or national origin by considering these topics divisive. 
Status: Enacted 3/28/22
https://sdlegislature.gov/Session/Bill/23006

 

Tennessee

HB0580/SB0623 An Act to amend Tennessee Code Annotated, Title 4 and Title 49, relative to education.
Summary: Bans “critical race theory” such as an individual, by virtue of the individual’s race or sex, is inherently privileged, racist, sexist, or oppressive, whether consciously or subconsciously
Status: Signed/Enacted 6/1/21
https://wapp.capitol.tn.gov/apps/BillInfo/Default.aspx?BillNumber=HB0580

HB800/SB1216 An Act relative to Textbooks 
SummaryProhibits the state textbook and instructional materials quality commission from recommending or listing, the state board of education from approving for local adoption or from granting a waiver for, and LEAs and public charter schools from adopting or using textbooks and instructional materials or supplemental instructional materials that promote, normalize, support, or address lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, or transgender issues or lifestyles.
Status: In committee
https://wapp.capitol.tn.gov/apps/BillInfo/Default.aspx?BillNumber=HB0800

HB1944/SB1944
SummaryAs introduced, excludes local education agencies, public schools, and employees and private contractors of LEAs or public schools from the exception to certain obscenity offenses if the LEA, public school, employee, or private contractor possesses obscene material that is harmful to minors on public school premises; prohibits an LEA or public school from making obscene materials or materials harmful to minors available to students in the school libraries controlled by the LEA or public school. - Amends TCA Title 39, Chapter 17, Part 9 and Title 49.
Status: Passed the House. Senate version deferred to Summer Study 4/6/22
https://wapp.capitol.tn.gov/apps/BillInfo/Default.aspx?BillNumber=SB1944

HB2451/SB2360
Summary: As introduced, enacts the "Parent Bill of Rights Act," which requires LEAs to permit parents to have access to certain information, including the names of instructors, titles available in the school library, teacher manuals, and curriculum; requires parents to provide written consent before a student can participate in any extracurricular activity, family life lesson, field trip, school assembly, or guest speaker event; prohibits certain healthcare practitioners from providing medical treatment to a minor without parental consent or a court order. - Amends TCA Section 14-4-103; Title 49 and Title 63.
Status: Senate version in Subcommittee of Senate Health and Welfare Committee 3/23/22; House version died in committee
https://wapp.capitol.tn.gov/apps/BillInfo/Default.aspx?BillNumber=HB2451

HB2454/SB2292
Summary
: Obscenity and Pornography - As introduced, redefines "obscene" to include material that has educational value; makes various changes to the internet acceptable use policy LEAs are required to adopt; requires providers of digital and online resources to ensure that users cannot access certain obscene material; requires a local board of education to establish a mechanism for parents, legal guardians, or students to report failures of the technology selected by the LEA to filter, block, or otherwise prevent access to pornography or obscenity through online resources and to submit an annual report to the state board of education regarding same. - Amends TCA Title 39, Chapter 17 and Title 49, Chapter 1.
Status: Passed both houses. With the Governor 4/26/22
https://wapp.capitol.tn.gov/apps/BillInfo/Default.aspx?BillNumber=SB2292

Texas

HB1811 AN ACT relating to the purchase of online library resources for primary and secondary schools by the Texas State Library and Archives Commission
Summary: The commission will purchase online library resources from vendors that meet the standards of the State Board of Education
Status: Dead/Failed 
https://legiscan.com/TX/text/HB1811/id/2286253

 

Utah

HB0038 School Technology Amendments
Summary: public schools must have safety policies and technology protection measures that prohibit and prevent a public school student using the resource from sending, receiving, viewing, or downloading obscene or pornographic material; and filter or block access to obscene or pornographic material
Status: Signed/Enacted 3/16/21
https://le.utah.gov/~2021/bills/static/HB0038.html

HB0374 Sensitive Materials in Schools
Summary: This bill prohibits certain sensitive instructional materials in public schools.
Status: Signed/Enacted 3/24/21
https://le.utah.gov/~2022/bills/static/HB0374.html

 

Virginia

SB275 A bill relating to public school libraries; printed and audiovisual materials; selection, evaluation, checkout, and removal procedures
Summary: Adds significant new procedures to school library materials selection policies including a public comment period and direct parental review of any and all materials (books, ebooks, audio, databases), and mandatory parental consent to check out materials considered by a parent to be pornographic or grooming. 
Status: Prefiled/Introduced 
https://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?221+ful+SB275

 

Wisconsin

AB411/SB411 Anti-racism and anti-sexism pupil instruction and anti-racism and anti-sexism training for employees of school districts and independent charter schools
Summary: Bans “critical race theory” such as an individual, by virtue of the individual’s race or sex, is inherently privileged, racist, sexist, or oppressive, whether consciously or subconsciously
Status: Vetoed by Governor 4/8/22
https://docs.legis.wisconsin.gov/2021/related/proposals/ab411



Wyoming

SF100 Internet freedom-prohibiting discrimination.
Summary: P
rohibits interactive computer services from discriminating based on viewpoint, race, or religion. Library systems are expressly included.
Status: Died in Committee
https://www.wyoleg.gov/Legislation/2021/SF0100