Lawmakers push bill that would allow parents to sue schools over ‘obscene’ books
DES MOINES, Iowa (KCRG) -A proposal that would ban certain materials in schools and school libraries and give parents the ability to sue the schools if a teacher or administrator violates that rule, has advanced through a Senate subcommittee hearing on Thursday with a 2-1 vote.
Republican Senate President Jake Chapman from Adel proposed the legislation S.F. 2198 stating that the reasoning for this proposal stems from parents who have approached school boards across the state with concerns about the content of certain books available in school libraries and don’t believe the process is working.
Opponents of the bill point to an overreach of censorship, and schools already having a system in place for handling questionable material. They also question the penalties for the distribution of those materials that would apply to teachers and school administrators.
The bill states that a teacher and/or administrator “who knowingly provide obscene material or hard-core pornography to a student...shall be guilty of a serious misdemeanor.”
Educators would face jail time for up to a year. And they would face fines up to 25-hundred dollars.
It also states that if a county attorney fails to file a criminal action on behalf of the state within 60 days, the parent or guardian of the student who was affected by a violation of the proposed rule may also bring a civil action for damages against the county attorney.
The bill now heads to a full Senate committee.
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