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HomeBreaking NewsRepublican Lawmakers Pitch 'Dirty Book' Ban in Wisconsin Schools

Republican Lawmakers Pitch ‘Dirty Book’ Ban in Wisconsin Schools

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It is highly unlikely that either plan would ever become law. Gov. Evers is expected to veto both bills if they ever make it to his desk.

The latest plan to limit the books on school library shelves in Wisconsin could lead to lawsuits over “obscene materials.”

State Rep. Scott Allen, R-Waukesha, and Republican state Sen. Andre Jacque, R-DePere, are looking for support for their plans to ban material they deem obscene from school libraries, as well as allow parents to sue librarians if they break the law.

“LRB-0522 prohibits schools from using the tax-payer funded common school fund to purchase obscene materials. LRB-0423 removes the exemption for school employees to be held liable for displaying obscene material,” the two wrote on a note to possible co-sponsors in the state legislature.

Allen calls the pieces of legislation the Protect Childhood Innocence plans.

“When you look at the definition of obscene material in state statute, there is no reason for that type of material to be in our schools,” Allen said.

Wisconsin state law defines obscene material as something that describes or shows sexual conduct in an offensive way with no educational or literary value.

Allen said he got a complaint from a parent in his district about a “book in which characters describe how to perform oral sex.”

“Since the pandemic, parents have been paying more attention to what material their students are encountering at school,” Allen added. “There is a demand to ensure that students are not encountering sexually explicit material in school.”

There are worries that allowing parents to sue will lead to a flood of lawsuits against school districts or individual teachers or librarians.

But Allen said state law requires both local prosecutors and the Wisconsin Attorney General’s Office to sign off on any possible lawsuits.

He said he’s not worried about, or looking for, lawsuits. He, instead, said he wants to make sure kids aren’t exposed to graphic sexual content while in school.

“Schools that are focused on teaching students have nothing to fear from this legislation,” Allen said. “Accountability is important, and these bills create healthy accountability for schools.”

The two bills are out for co-sponsorship, and have not yet been assigned a hearing date.

It is highly unlikely that either plan would ever become law. Gov. Evers is expected to veto both bills if they ever make it to his desk.

Ben Yount - The Center Square
The Center Square contributor
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