Sen. Warren Hamilton, R-McCurtain, filed legislation to ensure public and charter school libraries are free from inappropriate materials. Senate Bill 1208 would require each public school district and charter school to submit an inventory of their library materials to the State Department of Education each year.
In a statement today, Hamilton said, “Children are too often exposed to material that is explicit and not age appropriate, and the last place that should be occurring is in our state’s schools.
“This legislation would put safeguards in place to not only ensure that students are protected from reading or viewing inappropriate content, but that the school districts are held accountable for the availability of such materials,” Hamilton added.
Hamilton’s bill would require schools to have written policies for reviewing the educational suitability and age-appropriate nature of any material in a library, and for receiving and responding to complaints regarding books and materials in libraries.
Parents can hope that this bill swiftly moves through the Oklahoma Legislature. It should have been in place decades ago. Parents are encouraged to contact their House and Senate Representatives in support of this common sense. You can find your elected legislators and track bills at this link.
In many districts, it would be easier to take a selfie with Fort Knox gold than find out the details of what material is available to minors, vulnerable children, in their local school libraries.
SB 1208 can be considered during the 2024 legislative session, which begins Feb. 5.