Florida's Board of Education will consider publishing an annual list of banned library books

The proposed rule lays out a process for districts to report materials 'subject to an objection by a parent or resident' of school districts

The state Board of Education is slated next week to consider a new rule that would lead to Florida’s education commissioner publishing an annual list of library books and instructional materials that people have objected to, carrying out part of a controversial 2022 law.

The proposed rule lays out a process for districts to report materials “subject to an objection by a parent or resident” of school districts “so that the Department of Education can publish an annual objection report, identifying materials removed or discontinued as a result of an objection.”

The 2022 law requires the commissioner to “disseminate the list to school districts for consideration in their selection procedures.”

Under the proposal, districts would be required to submit a form detailing objections by June 30 of each year.

The districts also would have to include details, such as the types of materials objected to, and the reasons for the objections, based on various criteria.

For example, districts would have to list whether objections claim the materials contain pornography, are not “suited to student needs and ability to comprehend the material,” or are inappropriate for a grade level.

Districts also would report actions taken on the materials, including whether the “material was removed, discontinued or access limited.”

Last year’s measure (HB 1467) was designed to ramp up scrutiny of library books and instructional materials, giving parents and members of the public increased access to the process of selecting and removing school library books and instructional materials.

Gov. Ron DeSantis on Wednesday signed a measure (HB 1069) passed by the Republican-controlled Legislature during the 2023 session that, in part, will bolster last year’s law.
The new law includes a requirement that books objected to on claims that they contain pornographic material or describe “sexual conduct” be removed within five days of an objection and remain unavailable to students until the objection is resolved.

The state board is scheduled to consider the proposed rule during a meeting Wednesday at Miami-Dade College’s Hialeah campus.

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