Proposed bill would allow Oklahoma parents to file a petition to ban books in public libraries

A proposed bill would allow parents of Oklahoma students to file a petition to ban books involving sex, sexual preferences, sexual activity, sexual identity, or gender identity from libraries.

State Senate Bill 1142 would include both public and public charter schools.

Senator Rob Standridge authored the bill. He says these types of books belong in sexual education classes, not the library.

Standridge says he’s spoken with parents across the state who specifically pointed out books called, “Trans Teen Guide,” “Doing It,” and “ABC’s of Transgender.”

“Some are alternative lifestyles, some are not. So, what I think parents are concerned about is the over sexualization of their children. This material belongs in a sex-ed class,” said Standridge.

If passed, school employees who do not remove the books can be fired. If the book is not removed from the shelves in 30 days, the district will have to pay $10,000 a day to the parent who filed the petition to have the book removed.

Parent and advocate for Oklahoma’s children and educators, JJ Burnam says banning these particular LBGTQ+ books, and other books about sexuality, aren’t the answer.

“When we start talking about banning books, I think we need to be inclusive in our schools. Kids have materials available to learn, grow, and explore. That’s what we want in our schools,” said Burnam.

FOX23 spoke with Chris Payne from Union Public Schools. He says, “Union, as most districts throughout the state, have a policy in place for parents to challenge books that are available in our libraries. There is absolutely no need for this law that is essentially censorship on demand.”