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This week Kentucky lawmakers followed Florida Governor Ron DeSantis’ lead and passed a parental rights bill allowing parents “to challenge ‘obscene’ materials in the state’s public schools.”
The bill hopes to get parents more involved in school policies so that parents and guardians can have more input into what their children are learning in school.
This piece of legislation, passed in the state House by a vote of 80-18, “would require the state’s school districts to create a process for parents to challenge educational materials they believe to be ‘harmful’ to children.”
The bill passed the state Senate last month and will now go to Governor Andy Behear’s desk. If signed, the bill also directs the “Kentucky Department of Education to adopt a model policy for the complaint resolution process.”
According to WKU Public Radio, “SB 5 would create a process for parents to challenge books, instructional materials, and school events they believe are “harmful” to minors because they:
- Depict “in an obscene manner” nudity or sexual acts; or
- Taken as a whole, appeal to the prurient interest in sex; or
- Is patently offensive to prevailing standards regarding what is suitable for minors.”
Critics of the bill equate it to banning books. Democrat Representative Derrick Graham asked, “How much curriculum will be stifled because of what you don’t agree with in terms of what a history teacher is teaching, or what a high school English teacher is teaching?”
Supporters of the legislation call it a “commonsense process” that will benefit the students.
Somehow we have reached a point where school materials contain explicit sexual content.
Parents should be aware of this and should have the opportunity to report it and have it removed.
“We are not talking about banning books in this bill,” Representative Webber said. “We are talking about protecting children in this commonwealth from examples of extreme sexual exposure to material, to events, to programs.”
After looking over some of the material the bill opposes, Democratic Representative Josie Raymond, of Louisville, said, “They were not meant to arouse. They were not arousing. They address real challenges that many of our students sadly do need to see represented so they know that they are not alone, they are not to blame, and they are not ruined.”
Other Democrats agree with Raymond and say the measure goes too far. Some Conservatives don’t think it goes far enough.
During the debate, Republican Representative Josh Calloway of Irvington pushed for an amendment to include “much of House Bill 173, a sweeping measure that sought to target LGBTQ-inclusive school policies.”
“We’re talking about our kids. We’re talking about protecting their innocence. We’re talking about making sure that our kids’ minds are not being perverted, and that our kids are not being indoctrinated,” Calloway said.
State legislatures across the country have passed similar legislation after parents began speaking out at school board meetings after witnessing the indoctrination taking place at our nation’s public schools.
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Author: Linda Spina
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