According to a new bill proposed in the state, parents in Oklahoma can request sexual material to be removed from public school libraries.
The bill SB1142, written by Sen. Rob Standridge (R-Okla.), said parents and grandparents of children in Oklahoma’s public schools would be given the power to have books containing sexual material or inappropriate content removed from the shelves.
According to the Post Millennial, removing sexually inappropriate material must be implemented within 30 days of their complaint.
If not, the librarian must be fired and cannot work for any public school for two years. In addition, fines of up to $10,000 per day per incident will be levied if the books are not removed as requested.
Under the proposal, even just one formal complaint would require material to be removed for inappropriate content.
“I just think that those are overly sexualized. I think parents and grandparents, guardians should have a say on whether their kids are exposed to those books. If they want them, they can take them to their local library,” Standridge said.
The Republican senator said that he has concerns about some books, such as “A Quick and Easy Guide to They/Them Pronouns,” “Trans Teen Survival Guide,” “Quick and Easy Guide to Queer and Trans Identities,” and “The Art of Drag.”
The lawmaker said if a district refuses to remove an inappropriate book, a parent would have to sue and get an arbiter.
“Most likely these things will end up in court,” Standridge said. “My guess is the schools won’t comply and the parents will have to seek injunctive relief. That will be up to the trier of fact. They may well disagree with the parent and say reasonable parents would want their children to be exposed to transgender, queer and other sexually-related books. I would doubt that.”
Critics of the bill said that it is unconstitutional, potentially causing chaos by giving a single parent the power to strip school library shelves. They also argued that the measure is targeting LGBTQ groups.
Morgan Allen, an LGBTQ activist, said that those books are there to give the kids the language that they need to express how they are already feeling.
“These books are not there for anything else other than to affirm and show the kids their love for who they are, and that there are other people out there like them, that they are not alone,” Allen argued.