A controversial newly proposed bill in the Arizona legislature has drawn ire from Democrats who say that the legislation would equate to a book ban across the state as other states around the country have moved to try and limit the types of literature covered in schools.
The bill in question, SB1700, would allow for parents to have a book taken out of a classroom or school library, extending existing state law that allows a parent to have their child excluded from an assignment if that parent objects to the educational material being presented.
SB1700 would task the Arizona Department of Education with creating a list of banned books and with reviewing all of the complaints filed by parents. If the department then agrees with the parent's complaint, they will add the book to the list of banned material.
This subjective test has drawn heavy criticism from Democrats in the state, who argue that it would not only open the door for possible discrimination but also cause a significant administrative burden to an already stretched education department.
How Complaints are Reviewed:
SB1700 will require the complaints filed by parents to have some validity in order to have them put onto the banned list, stating that the complaints must describe how the book may be "lewd, sexual in nature, that promote gender fluidity, or gender pronouns, or that groom children into normalizing pedophilia."
In that same vein, the bill will also require educational materials that are determined to fall under the aforementioned material to be removed from classrooms and educational spaces.
The bill passed the Arizona Senate 16-12 earlier this week and is currently being reviewed in the state House of Representatives.
You can read the entirety of the bill's text here.
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