SB 17 prevents elementary and secondary schools and non- college/ university libraries from raising a defense to the law-making at a felony to expose minors to “harmful” material. It also strips away protections for material that is disseminated for educational purposes. It lets parents sue to enforce this criminal statute, and would also allow parents to use it if they object to any part of the school curriculum or material available in a school library. This unworkable provision presents a 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.

Authors

Sen. James Tomes, Sen. Jeff Raatz, Sen. Michael Young

Status

Failed

Bill number

Position

Oppose