Putting a target on school libraries in Tennessee

There has been a growing effort to label content about race, sexuality, and gender in school libraries as obscene and remove it from the shelves. See this compelling piece from The 19th.

Tennessee now joins the ranks of states where these battles will rage in 2022. Rep. Scott Cepicky has filed HB1944, which, according to the official summary, "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."

We will have to watch to see how the discussion unfolds about what counts as obscene. But if action around the country is any guide, LGBTQ materials are among the targets.

January 31 update: Rep. Willaim Lamberth has filed HB2154. Here's the summary: "As introduced, enacts the 'Age-Appropriate Materials Act of 2022'; requires each public school to maintain, and post on the school's website, a list of the materials in the school's library collection; requires each local board of education and public charter school governing body to adopt a policy to establish procedures for the development and review of school library collections." 

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