It's becoming so common place now that many people don't even blink an eye when it happens.
The State of Maryland, in an attempt to control the indoctrination apparatus of our public schools, will neuter school boards who are responsive to local citizens. The Legislature will do this by enacting laws and mandates that give the power of those local, elected school boards to unelected state bureaucrats.
The "Freedom to Read Act" is the latest poison pill in this effort. It falls in line behind many other bills presented or passed in the last two years in the tyrannical Maryland General Assembly. Infamous HB 119, a bill which would have mandated local school systems to adhere specifically to the prurient goals of the "Health and Sex Education Framework," went so far as to threaten systems with a "fine" if they didn't comply. Thankfully, after serious resistance by the Maryland Association of Boards of Education and local school boards across the state, the bill died a swift death. (Don't worry, they are bringing in back this year thanks to Howard County Delegate Vanessa Atterbeary.)
Of course, the biggest takeover of local control is the Blueprint for Maryland's Future, which mandates everything from programs provided, teachers' salaries, and, of course, county funding.
This latest proposed bill, SB 0738, seems innocuous by its title. It's something Progressives do all the time, name a bill with a title that sounds great but really is anything but what it says. Calling it the "Freedom to Read Act" makes it sound like a bill that will encourage people to read. Maybe it should say, "Freedom to Read PORNOGRAPHY Act."
It's actually a reaction to local Maryland county school boards such as Carroll County taking objectionable books out of their school libraries. Contrary to what leftists say, these aren't books like "To Kill a Mockingbird" or books about Black History. These books have pornographic images or descriptions, the likes of which you could find in Penthouse Magazine. The Carroll County Board considered the opinions of parents with children as young as elementary school who complained that these books demonstrating various types of sex such as oral, vaginal, anal, etc. were accessible to students. Some of the books portrayed graphic rape scenes or sexual experimentation in the story lines that were not appropriate for ANY minor child.
Organizations such as GLSEN, the Maryland Education Association, the American Federation of Teachers, PFLAG, etc. vigorously oppose removing pornography from our schools. On a state and national scale, the ALA, American Library Association, violently opposes restrictions of ANY books in school libraries. The sponsors of this bill even got their title FROM the ALA:
ALA even goes so far as to display a list of the "Top 13 Most Challenged Books" on their website:
It doesn't seem to bother them that they are defending each of the books, which, by their own description are, "claimed to be sexually explicit." The word "claimed" is the weasel word in the description. These books are not just "claimed" to be sexually explicit; they ARE sexually explicit. I won't post those pornographic images in this article, but you can go to bookslooks.org to see for yourself.
Back to the bill.
This bill is partly sponsored (ironically) by Bill Ferguson (D- Baltimore City) who helped author the controversial juvenile justice reform in Maryland that has turned our cities into crime plagued dystopias while young offenders steal cars, attack people etc. without consequence. It is also co-sponsored by Cheryl Kagan (D- Montgomery County) who attempted to pass a bill last year that would allow minors to receive vaccines without the consent or knowledge of their parents. Thankfully, her bill went down in total defeat. She's apparently back with a horrible vengeance.
The bill provides protection for public librarians or school librarians from being fired if they allow pornographic books to remain on library shelves as long as those books are acceptable under the State's Standards for Libraries. Don't know what those are?
They don't exist outside this proposed law.
(A) IT IS THE GOAL OF THE STATE THAT EACH LIBRARY IS OPERATED IN A
MANNER THAT RECOGNIZES THE FOLLOWING STANDARDS:
(1,) LIBRARY MATERIALS, SERVICES, AND RESOURCES EXIST AND SHOULD BE PROVIDED FOR THE INTEREST, INFORMATION, AND ENLIGHTENMENT
OF ALL PERSONS THE LIBRARY SERVES;
(2.) A LIBRARY SHOULD NOT EXCLUDE MATERIAL FROM ITS
CATALOGUE BECAUSE OF THE ORIGIN, BACKGROUND, OR VIEWS OF A PERSON WHO
CREATED THE MATERIAL; AND
(3)A LIBRARY SHOULD NOT PROHIBIT OR REMOVE MATERIAL FROM
ITS CATALOGUE BECAUSE OF PARTISAN OR DOCTRINAL DISAPPROVAL.
IT IS THE INTENT OF THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY THAT ANY LIBRARY,
SCHOOL LIBRARY, RESOURCE CENTER, OR OTHER LIBRARY ARRANGEMENT
DEVELOPED BY THE STATE LIBRARY AGENCY THAT RECEIVES FUNDING FROM THE
STATE SHALL ADOPT AND FOLLOW A WRITTEN POLICY CONSISTENT WITH THE
STATE STANDARDS FOR LIBRARIES ENUMERATED IN SUBSECTION (A) OF THIS
If you read carefully, these "State Library Standards" state that no books may be removed from the shelves "BECAUSE OF PARTISAN OR DOCTRINAL DISAPPROVAL." Translation? Pornography must remain in our libraries despite the wishes of parents and other citizens.
If a school board or other public entity demand that the librarian remove objectionable books and the librarian doesn't, the school board or public entity MAY NOT FIRE THAT LIBRARIAN. If they do, they can be fined by the State Library Board/State Librarian who is appointed by the Governor.
Do you see what we see? We see what is happening to the local police and sheriff's departments who are no longer able to manage their own employees without the interference of civilian committees. Now school boards/county councils will be under the control of an UNELECTED group of political appointees who will supersede their personnel decisions. Don't think those political appointees won't have an agenda?
In this case, the agenda is extremely troubling.
What can you do?
This bill has already had its first reader. But, you can go to https://mgaleg.maryland.gov/ and sign up to testify against this bill in writing, in person, or virtually. The next hearing date has not been set yet, so keep an eye on the website to see when the next hearing is. Then, sign up to testify.
Stop the poison pills. Maintain local control.