These bills prevent elementary and secondary schools and non-college/university libraries from raising a defense to existing law which makes it a felony to expose minors to “harmful” material. These bills also strip away protections for material that is disseminated for educational purposes and open schools up to lawsuits from parents who disagree with any part of the school curriculum or material available in a school library. This unworkable provision presents a serious First Amendment concern.

Additionally, not presenting a clear definition of “material harmful to minors” raises significant due process and enforceability concerns. The vagueness of the statute could be used to silence protected speech on a multitude of issue areas and has historically been used as a tool to ban sex education material and material about LGBTQ issues from local libraries if community members and local prosecutors find it objectionable. 

SB 12

HB 1130

HB 1522

Authors

SB 12: Sen. James Tomes; HB 1130: Rep. Becky Cash; HB 1522: Rep. Bruce Borders

Status

Introduced

Bill number

SB 12, HB 1130

Position

Oppose