Arizona GOP says books sexualize children, then passes bill that could ban the Bible

Opinion: Insanity continues at the Arizona Legislature as our leaders now want to imprison teachers who slip up and mention a banned book.

By Laurie Roberts ||Arizona Republic

Arizona has a chronic teacher shortage. Why, just last month we learned that fully a quarter of Arizona’s public school classrooms don’t have a qualified teacher instructing our children.

Naturally, the Republican-run Arizona Legislature is leaping forth to tackle this alarming and vexing issue …

… With a bill that would transform teachers into felons should they slip up and accidently mention a book like F. Scott Fitzgerald’s “Great Gatsby” or James Joyce’s “Ulysses.”

Failure to get a parent’s written permission to share what is apparently now considered smut would result in a class five felony, punishable by two years in prison.

‘There should be jail time,’ Hoffman says

Senate Bill 1323 was approved by the Arizona Senate on a party line vote last week. It next heads to the House before landing atop Gov. Katie Hobbs’ growing veto pyre.

“This bill is about stopping the sexualization of Arizona’s children. It is happening right now all across the state in government-run schools … ,” the bill’s sponsor, Sen. Jake Hoffman, R-Queen Creek, told his fellow senators.

“This should be a felony. If you expose kids to sexually explicit material it should be a felony. There should be jail time. There should be fines. It is reprehensible what’s being taught in our schools.”

Books, for example, like George Orwell’s “1984” and Harper Lee’s “To Kill a Mockingbird” and Bram Stoker’s “Dracula.”

The Legislature, under Hoffman’s direction, has already barred public schools from exposing children to sexually explicit material, which, by the way, already is illegal.


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March 2023