Indiana legislators today passed a bill that will have alarming consequences for students’ right to learn. After quickly and quietly amending HB 1447 in a conference committee this week to include book banning language originally in another bill, HB 1447 was then passed by both the House and the Senate in one afternoon.
HB 1447, will strip away protections for material that is disseminated for educational purposes and opens schools, teachers, and librarians up to penalties if a parent disagrees with material available in a school library.
ACLU of Indiana advocacy and public policy director, Katie Blair, issued this statement:
“Just because one person does not want their child to read a book does not give them the right to ban that book for everyone’s children. Schools should be a thriving ground for freedom of speech and freedom of thought. They should not be turned into a space of control to support a political agenda. As we have seen across the country, when books are censored, it is mostly books by and about LGBTQ people, people of color, and other marginalized groups that are the first to be banned. Students have a right to learn about all types of people and histories. This bill will have a chilling effect on the availability of books for students to read and explore.”