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Arizona Senate passes bill that would allow parents to remove books from schools

Senate Bill 1700 allows a parent to request for the removal of a book they find lewd or too sexual. Arizona's senators passed the bill Monday afternoon.
Credit: 12News

PHOENIX — The Arizona Senate has passed legislation that empowers parents to ask for the removal of books from schools they believe are inappropriate.

State law already allows a parent to have their child excused from a school assignment or activity if the parent objects to educational material that's used.

But Senate Bill 1700 would give the parent authority to have a book taken out of the classroom or school library. 

If the bill was to become law, then the Arizona Department of Education would be tasked with creating a list of banned books and reviewing complaints submitted by parents wishing to have a book taken out of a school. 

The parent must explain in their complaint how the book is lewd, sexual, promotes gender fluidity, or normalizes pedophilia. If the Department of Education agrees with the parent, then the agency will add the title to its banned book list. 

The bill would additionally require all Arizona school districts to exclude learning materials that are "lewd, sexual in nature, that promote gender fluidity, or gender pronouns, or that groom children into normalizing pedophilia."

The Senate's Democratic members expressed little support for the bill, arguing that it demonized materials on gender fluidity and would create a huge administrative burden for the state.

Republicans argued the legislation was needed to protect the innocence of students.

"I'm very proud of this bill," said state Sen. Justine Wadsack, R-District 17, mentioning titles like "Beyond Magenta" as the type of book that's too sexual for public schools. 

The 2014 nonfiction book details the experiences of six transgender teenagers and has been removed from school libraries in other states.

SB 1700 passed Monday in a 16-12 vote and was sent over to the Arizona House of Representatives for review.

More about the bill can be read below:

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