Librarians Fear Jail Time as Book Bans Escalate

( – Librarians have been put on notice in some states that sexually explicit material, including graphic novels that depict minors engaged in adult acts, is not appropriate for public or school libraries.

Largely decried as censorship or “banning books,” conservatives in recent years have expressed heavy criticism for literature and graphic depictions of teenagers engaged in various sexual acts. None of the books are being banned from the marketplace, many are being limited or removed from being shared in public libraries or used in educational settings.

“Genderqueer” by Maia Kobabe features depictions of minors engaged in all kinds of adult activity. The author, who identifies as non-binary, grew up in San Francisco, and this glowing discussion of her content in the pages of the New York Times is an example of how the media generally white-washes perverted content being crafted for kids.

Missouri lawmakers passed a bill in 2022 that created potential fines and even prison time for librarians who allowed sexually explicit content on their shelves. Tom Bober, president of the Missouri Association of School Libraries, complained that they had to withdraw a new edition of Marget Atwood’s “The Handmaiden’s Tale” because it potentially violated the law due to a one-panel graphic depicting a graphic sexual assault scene from the novel.

Communities across the country have been debating what level of sexual content is appropriate for their young people. Parents have expressed outrage, some even have been prevented from reading the content their children have access to in the school library due to school board members suggesting it was inappropriate to read aloud in a public setting.

The problem was so well-recognized that the state of Florida passed a law, HB 1069, which makes it mandatory that any book concerned parents are prevented from reading during a school board meeting must necessarily be pulled from the school library. Parents were annoyed that the school authorities were claiming they needed years to filter out the indecent content and were able to address the problem quickly and efficiently thanks to the state law.

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