The Republicans who control the Arizona Legislature would like to ban some books.
It’s just that, in order to determine which books you want to ban, it’s helpful to have read a few books.
You should be able to name the titles in question. You should be able to explain why it is they should not be allowed in school libraries or in classrooms, and what they contain that would have a deleterious effect on students.
Unless you have no idea how to do that.
Unless, you actually don’t care about that.
Don’t judge a bill by its cover
Unless, you simply want to pass a law that makes it look like you are protecting parents from evil influencers in public education.
By which you mean (without saying so) … teachers.
That, in essence, is all you need to know about House Bill 2495, a Republican-driven bill approved along a party-line vote in the House and now in the Senate.
It is not a protect-the-children bill.
It is an anti-education bill. An anti-teacher bill.
It’s part of the Arizona Republican Party’s ongoing war on the public schools that the vast majority of the state’s children attend.
As explained in the senate’s “fact sheet” for HB2495, the bill “prohibits a public school from referring a student to, or using, sexually explicit material in any manner, unless the material is classical literature, early American literature or required for college credit and the school obtains parental consent and provides an alternative assignment if parental consent is not secured.”
What would Atticus Finch think?
The decision as to what books they’re talking about seems to rest with the Legislature, a group of individuals who appear to be willingly ignorant when it comes to authors, books and educating school kids.
What would they consider “classical literature” or “early American literature”?
Would “To Kill a Mockingbird” make the cut?
“Romeo and Juliet”?
“The Canterbury Tales?”
How about a whole range of other books by authors with whom Arizona lawmakers probably have no actual reading experience, like Toni Morrison, Alice Munro, Upton Sinclair, John Steinbeck, Ralph Ellison, Alice Walker, Joseph Heller. Margaret Atwood, George Orwell and on and on.
The bill, if approved and signed by Gov. Doug Ducey, may not pass legal pattern.
Geoff Esposito of the American Civil Liberties Union of Arizona said it would be unconstitutional owing to the restrictions on content and the Legislature acting as a “censor.”
The real reason for the scam?
Not that it matters.
Like I said, this is not a protect-the-children bill.
It is a pretend-something-bad-is-happening-in-public-schools bill.
An anti-teacher bill.
An attempt by the Republican majority in the Legislature to make it look like they are protecting children from evil influencers.
Are lawmakers hoping parents will be ignorant to the hustle? Are they hoping bills like HB2495 will keep Arizona’s school children ignorant?
And thus make them more inclined, when the time comes, to vote GOP?
.Reach Montini at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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