Parents nationwide have expressed outrage in recent years upon learning that books and materials dealing with age-inappropriate topics have been made available at public schools.
A number of Republican-led states and jurisdictions have implemented policies meant to remove certain objectionable content. Despite these books being readily available in places other than school libraries and classrooms, leftist critics have nonetheless characterized such efforts as “book bans.”
This week, Democrats in California took one of the most decisive steps yet to ensure that parents have no recourse when it comes to preventing controversial books from being presented to their children.
Assembly Bill 1078 prohibits local school boards from “refusing to approve or prohibiting the use of any textbook, instructional material or other curriculum or any book or other resource in a school library.”
Proponents of the legislation claim that making sexually explicit content available to young children will somehow protect “marginalized” groups from discrimination. The bill passed through both Democratic-controlled chambers of the state legislature and is expected to be signed into effect by Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom.
California is the true freedom state: a place where families — not political fanatics — have the freedom to decide what’s right for them.
With the passage of legislation to ban book bans & ensure all students have textbooks, our state’s Family Agenda is now even stronger. pic.twitter.com/RG9nnYd32u
— Office of the Governor of California (@CAgovernor) September 8, 2023
Assemblymember Corey Jackson introduced the bill and touted its supposed benefits in a statement celebrating its passage.
“It will ensure that California pushes back against the disgusting practice of engaging in culture wars and stepping on the backs of vulnerable populations for political gains,” he claimed.
A number of the Republicans who voted against the bill denounced its implications, however, including Assemblymember Devon Mathis, who called it “government blackmail to our locals.”
The bill’s passage comes after one school board was threatened with a $1.5 million fine for objecting to state-sanctioned textbooks and was ultimately strong-armed into accepting the curriculum.
“We’re not having the conversation at the core of the issue, which is age-appropriate materials,” GOP state Sen. Rosilicie Ochoa Bogh asserted, echoing the concerns of parents statewide that removing certain books from schools is not intended to discriminate against anyone but instead to protect kids from inappropriate material.
State Sen. Kelly Seyarto, also a Republican, agreed, declaring: “Parents should have a right to be able to go up to their school board and voice their concern about the content of the material they’re being taught.”