The classic novels “Romeo and Juliet” and “Of Mice and Men” might be banned from state public school classrooms and libraries due to their sexual content, according to a group of book merchants and publishers who have launched a federal lawsuit to stop a new Texas book ratings legislation.
Violets The Right Of Free Expression
The law will go into force on September 1st. Stores would have to assess and rank the books they currently sell or have previously sold to schools for such material. Vendors that don’t follow the rules won’t be allowed to work with schools.
According to the lawsuit, the law is unconstitutionally ambiguous, violates the right to free expression, and places an excessive burden on bookshops. It aims to prevent the law before it’s enforcement.
The bill, one of several to restrict or outlaw reading material throughout the nation in conservative states, was signed into law by Republican Governor Greg Abbott. A federal court in Arkansas held a hearing on a lawsuit seeking to overturn a state legislation there that would make it illegal for bookstores and librarians to lend “harmful” products to children.
Abbott hailed the Texas law when he signed it into law, saying it “gets that trash out of our schools.”
The American Booksellers Association, the Association of American Publishers, the Authors Guild, and the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund are among the plaintiffs in the Texas lawsuit, along with the shops Book People in Austin and Blue Willow Bookshop in Houston.
According to Texas law, “sexually relevant” materials that depict or discuss sex yet are mandatory reading for school can be checked out with a parent’s consent. Health literature, historical materials, encyclopedias, dictionaries, and religious texts may all receive a “sexually relevant” grade, according to the lawsuit.
If the content of a book is judged inappropriate and not part of the compulsory curriculum, it will be given the “sexually explicit” rating. The school library would get rid of the books.
When reviewing vendor ratings, state officials have the option to ask for changes if they think the ratings are inaccurate. Contracts between school districts and charter schools and noncompliant book dealers would be prohibited.
One of the bill’s Republican writers, state representative Jared Patterson, said he had anticipated the lawsuit but was certain that the legislation would be maintained in court.