ProPublica: “Book Bans in Texas Spread as New State Law Takes Effect”
From a ProPublica Article:
As a new Texas law further restricting what books students can check out of school libraries takes effect, local bans are gaining steam in districts across the state — in some cases going in startling directions.
The local censorship efforts come as courts wrestle with a new Texas law that requires booksellers to rate public school library books based on their depictions of or references to sex. Books in which such references are deemed “patently offensive” by the vendors will be issued a “sexually explicit” rating and can’t be sold to schools and must be removed from shelves of school libraries. Books that reference or depict sex generally will be rated “sexually relevant” and require parental permission to read.
Texas schools would be barred from buying books from vendors who don’t use the ratings.
On Sept. 18, a U.S. district judge in Austin issued a written order blocking the law, which was passed this spring, from taking effect. Judge Alan D. Albright, a Trump appointee, ruled the law would impose “unconstitutionally vague requirements” on booksellers and “misses the mark on obscenity.”
“And the state,” he wrote, “in abdicating its responsibility to protect children, forces private individuals and corporations into compliance with an unconstitutional law that violates the First Amendment.”
A week later, the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals blocked the judge’s ruling, temporarily allowing the law to go into effect while the court considers the case, which it is expected to take up this month.
About Gary Price
Gary Price (email@example.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. He earned his MLIS degree from Wayne State University in Detroit. Price has won several awards including the SLA Innovations in Technology Award and Alumnus of the Year from the Wayne St. University Library and Information Science Program. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com.