[Vision2020] Idaho Republicans push bill that would fine and jail librarians for certain books

Ron Force ronforce at gmail.com
Sun Oct 23 19:33:49 PDT 2022

This is from March 2022. The bill died in the Senate.

Ron Force
Moscow Idaho USA

On Sat, Oct 22, 2022 at 4:45 PM Tom Hansen <thansen at moscow.com> wrote:

> Courtesy of Salon at:
> https://www.salon.com/2022/03/09/idaho-push-bill-that-would-fine-and-jail-librarians-for-certain-books/
> ————————————————-
> Idaho Republicans push bill that would fine and jail librarians for
> certain books
> The Idaho House of Representative approved
> <https://idahocapitalsun.com/2022/03/07/idaho-house-passes-bill-that-could-lead-to-prosecution-of-librarians-for-harmful-material/>
>  a bill on Monday that could fine and jail the staff of school libraries,
> universities, and museums if they provide "harmful" material to children, a
> development critics say is designed to prevent kids from having access to
> books about the LGBTQ+ experience.
> The measure, House Bill 666, would subject employees of schools, museums
> and libraries to a maximum fine of $1,000 as well as up to a year in jail.
> While the bill moved through the chamber along a 51-14 vote, its passage
> was met with impassioned debate on both sides of the aisle, with
> Republicans decrying the effects of what they deemed to be "pornography" on
> young children.
> "For many years, I as a parent have been concerned about the obscene and
> pornographic materials that find their way into our schools and public
> libraries," state Rep. Gayann DeMordaunt, the bill's sponsor, said
> <https://www.idahoednews.org/news/house-backs-criminal-charges-for-educators-librarians-who-disseminate-harmful-materials-to-children/>
>  in an hour-long debate. "We are simply asking that those that are
> responsible for the materials in our libraries or in museums or the other
> places that are listed in this code, are handled sensitively and
> responsibly."
> Meanwhile, Rep. Steve Berch, a Democrat, condemned the bill, saying, "The
> America that I grew up in, and I was born, and … that I love does not write
> bills and create laws that throw librarians in jail."
> Democratic House Minority Leader Ilana Rubel expressed concerns over
> whether librarians would be able to discern what material qualifies as
> "objectionable."
> "How in the world is any librarian facing potential criminal sanctions
> going to know," Rubel asked her colleagues. "It is very unfair to our
> librarians and educators to ask them to operate in a world where they have
> no idea what is legal and what is not and what will send them to jail and
> what will not."
> According to Idaho News, the bill leaves considerable ambiguity around
> just what constitutes "harmful" materials.
> Idaho state law
> <https://legislature.idaho.gov/statutesrules/idstat/Title18/T18CH15/SECT18-1514/>
>  prohibits adults from distributing any material depicting human
> "nudity", "sexual conduct", "sexual excitement", "sado-masochistic abuse",
> and "masturbation" to minors. However, state law does not apply
> <https://www.ktvb.com/article/news/local/capitol-watch/idaho-house-oks-measure-that-could-fine-and-jail-librarians/277-effbe516-1c5c-4a46-a125-cf4f4954d804>
>  to "any matter which, when considered as a whole, and in context in
> which it is used, possesses serious literary, artistic, political or
> scientific value for minors, according to prevailing standards in the adult
> community, with respect to what is suitable for minors."
> The bill comes amid a much broader Republican-led push to purge certain
> kinds of books – typically those written by minority authors – from school
> shelves.
> Back in October, a Texas Republicans introduced a bill that would force
> school districts to disclose how many copies they held of 850 books that
> "might make students feel discomfort, guilt, anguish, or any other form of
> psychological distress because of their race or sex."
> In Oklahoma, state legislators are likewise mulling
> <https://www.oklahoman.com/story/news/2022/03/02/oklahoma-education-committee-approves-book-ban-bill-public-schools/6979214001/>
>  a bill that would remove "controversial" books from school shelves,
> particularly when it comes to "the study of sex, sexual lifestyles, or
> sexual activity." The measure would allow aggrieved parents to collect
> legal penalties of $10,000 a day from school districts that fail to comply
> with their removal requests.
> ————————————————-
> Seeya 'round town, Moscow, because . . .
> "Moscow Cares" (the most fun you can have with your pants on)
> http://www.MoscowCares.net
> Tom Hansen
> Moscow, Idaho
> “A stranger is just a friend you haven’t met.”
> - Roy E. Stolworthy
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