ACLU, Missouri library groups sue over new school book law

1 month ago Herald Review

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — The American Civil Liberties Union of Missouri and two state library associations are suing over a new state law that bans sexually explicit material from schools, saying it violates the rights of librarians and students.

The lawsuit filed Thursday contends that the Republican-backed law, which took effect in August, has caused Missouri school districts to remove hundreds of books from their shelves.

The ACLU, the Missouri Association of School Librarians and the Missouri Library Association are asking the Circuit Court in Kansas City to find the law unconstitutional or clarify how and when it applies.

The law was passed as challenges to the content of library books — both in schools and public libraries — have increased across the country over the last two years.

Missouri's Republican secretary of state, Jay Ashcroft, has proposed a rule that would block public funding for libraries that make “inappropriate” books available to minors. The proposal has been widely condemned by librarians and free speech advocates.

In the latest lawsuit, the ACLU sued Jean Peters Baker in her role as the Jackson County prosecutor and on behalf of all county prosecutors in Missouri.

Michael Mansur, a spokesman for Baker's office, said Friday that they had not seen the lawsuit and couldn't comment.

Librarians and other school officials face up to a year in jail or a $2,000 fine for violating the policy, which makes it a crime to provide minors with sexually explicit visual material. Exceptions are provided for works of art, science classes and other educational courses.

The lawsuit also contends that librarians and others could violate the law regardless of whether the material is provided inside or outside of a school building or school hours.

As of November, about 300 titles had been banned from school libraries across the state, according to the lawsuit. Many of those books were written by or about minority or LGBTQ individuals, but they also include graphic novels, human anatomy books and Holocaust history books.

The law endangers not only school librarians but public and academic librarians who work with K-12 schools, Joe Kohlburn of the Missouri Library Association's Intellectual Freedom Committee said in a statement.

“Librarians have been undermined politically in this state for long enough, and the fear of prosecution is an ongoing issue for keeping qualified professionals in Missouri, as well as bringing new people into the profession,” he said.

The ACLU argues that the law violates educators' due process rights because it is unconstitutionally vague and allows government overreach. It also argues that the suit violates students' First Amendment rights.

The lawsuit notes that federal and state law already prohibits providing obscene and pornographic materials to minors, and that school boards approve procedures for choosing appropriate library materials.

“Extreme politicians in Jefferson City are using the government-knows-best model for legislation — in this case telling parents what their children can and can’t read at school and, in some cases, at home, while imposing criminal penalties on those who might disagree,” said Gillian Wilcox, deputy director for litigation for the ACLU of Missouri.

Melissa Corey, president of the Missouri Association of School Librarians, said one of the group's major concerns is not only removing books currently on the shelves, but the potential for “a chilling effect” on what books are purchased in the future.

Continue reading...

Read On "Herald Review"
More News On "Herald Review"
29 days ago - Alameda County landlords owed thousands in rent, call for an end to eviction moratorium 29 days ago - Monday Feb. 27 COVID-19 update: 4 deaths in Douglas County 29 days ago - State basketball preview: 6A, 5A tournaments return to Weber State’s Dee Events Center this week 29 days ago - One Wealth Advisors LLC invests in Enovix Co. (NASDAQ:ENVX) 29 days ago - Uncommon length makes Pleasant Valley’s 2-3 a no-scoring zone 29 days ago - Study: Back-to-back hurricanes likely to come more often 29 days ago - What’s Happening Vegas? – March 2023 29 days ago - Osceola County community events calendar for 03/01/2023 1 month ago - North Adams, East Clinton, Unioto still alive 1 month ago - North Korea holds rare meeting on farming amid food shortage 1 month ago - 'Dilbert,' Scott Adams lose distributor over racist remarks 1 month ago - Soap or phone call? Colo. lawmakers want to make prison phone calls free 1 month ago - EXPLAINER: Windstorm was likely a derecho. What is that? 1 month ago - What's Happening in Las Vegas for this Year's March Madness 1 month ago - Outsmarting humans just one step for AI video game players 1 month ago - 'Cocaine Bear' gets high with $23.1M, 'Ant-Man' sinks fast 1 month ago - 'Everything Everywhere All at Once' dominates at SAG Awards 1 month ago - Digital Transformation: The Revolutionary Impact of Technology in Africa 1 month ago - ShotSpotter (NASDAQ:SSTI) Price Target Increased to $44.00 by Analysts at Lake Street Capital 1 month ago - Season 3 of Outer Banks disappoints critics; watch only if you were a die-hard fan of earlier seasons, they suggest 1 month ago - Board Game and Card Game Market Size in 2023 with [ STATISTICS FIGURES] Future Development Status and Forecast up to 2029 1 month ago - Tabletop Gaming Market Size in 2023 NEW TECHNOLOGICAL DEVELOPMENT and Latest Innovation in Analytics Sector till 2029 1 month ago - Celona Offers Most Comprehensive Private 5G Solutions for U.S. and Foreign Markets 1 month ago - ShotSpotter, Inc. (NASDAQ:SSTI) to Post Q1 2023 Earnings of ($0.03) Per Share, Northland Capmk Forecasts 1 month ago - Asian shares track Wall Street decline on hot economic data 1 month ago - Final Nebraska high school swimming and diving season leaders 1 month ago - Girls BB: Saluting Section Champions 1 month ago - Tens of thousands protest Mexico electoral reforms 1 month ago - Third finals appearance the charm for Hortonville's Skebba; Stoffel makes history for Appleton North 1 month ago - Medical Blades Market Business Opportunities, Top Players and Forecast 2030 1 month ago - Central College Dutch Sports Update – 2/26/2023 1 month ago - Buhro takes individual crown as Oak Harbor earns sectional championship 1 month ago - Nebraska conservatives set sights on education takeover – Associated Press 1 month ago - Back-to-back: Minico successfully defends 4A state wrestling championship 1 month ago - Here are Saturday's high school sports results 1 month ago - Farewell, Fontana: NASCAR's last weekend at a racing gem 1 month ago - Kansas Democrats pick Repass as their new chair despite campaign baggage 1 month ago - Tesla’s Global Engineering HQ in Palo Alto — Opening Party Highlights (Pics, Videos, Quotes) 1 month ago - San Ann'as Pizza and Mexican celebrating 45th anniversary 1 month ago - L.A. on the Record: The Senate takes one more look at Garcetti 1 month ago - Dodge County real estate transfers 1 month ago - How UNL instructors are tackling the emergence of ChatGPT and other AI in higher education 1 month ago - Some Democratic-led states seek to bolster voter protections 1 month ago - Casey Vaughan: Only rain should go down a storm drain 1 month ago - Nebraska conservatives set sights on education takeover 1 month ago - West Michigan Conference basketball: Girls and boys roundup from Feb. 24, 2023 – CatchMark Sports 1 month ago - Jeff Yost: Look Upstream 1 month ago - Brokers Set Expectations for ShotSpotter, Inc.'s Q4 2023 Earnings (NASDAQ:SSTI) 1 month ago - Building affordable homes in Fremont 1 month ago - Local chef to open farm-to-table eatery in Fremont 1 month ago - Jeanna Wilcoxen Murder: Where Is Jeremiah Connelly Now? 1 month ago - More than 70 soldiers killed in Burkina Faso, extremists say 1 month ago - Clyde Council to consider citizens raising chickens in town 1 month ago - Wilhelm: More on Jacksons, Willow Hill and efforts to share insight into African American history 1 month ago - STATE HIGH SCHOOL WRESTLING TOURNAMENTS: Crowded at the top ... Trojans third, but well within striking distance in 5A tournament 1 month ago - Bulldog wrestlers have solid day at state 1 month ago - High school boys basketball: 6A/5A second round recap 1 month ago - Head-To-Head Analysis: Amprius Technologies (NYSE:AMPX) & Novanta (NASDAQ:NOVT) 1 month ago - Here are Friday's high school sports results 1 month ago - It’s Official: California Will Be Tesla’s Engineering & AI Headquarters
free geoip