The Pennsylvania School Librarians Association (PSLA) and EveryLibrary oppose SB 1277. We support and advocate for parental involvement in their student’s reading journey and their use of school libraries.
SB 1277 is not only redundant but also provides no guidance on defining “sexually explicit”. There are multiple existing policies and procedures that allow for the review and reconsideration of instructional material, including materials available through a school library. There are additional policies addressing the process of selecting materials for inclusion in a school library collection.
- When a public school employs a certified school librarian, this trained professional is able to carefully select school library resources based on school board-approved policies to meet the academic and literacy needs of students as well as support the procedures for parents to request reconsideration of materials.
- School librarians encourage open conversations with parents in identifying appropriate reading choices for their children, respecting parents’ beliefs and the unique learning needs, interests, maturity, and reading comprehension levels of each child.
- Certified school librarians are able to build these transparent and open relationships with families as they follow the reading journey of students throughout their time at each school level. School librarians are able to guide students to find library books and resources consistent with family values.
We strongly believe that SB 1277 will diminish local control of public school boards, burden local schools with procedures that are unnecessary and costly, and create an atmosphere that will inhibit students' intellectual freedom and first amendment rights.
The ACLU of Pennsylvania's analysis of SB1277 states that the bill hinges on "an overly broad and vague definition of “sexually explicit content” that will cast a wide net across all manner of instructional materials and library resources. It would impose unreasonable burdens on schools and may result in extreme self-censorship, as schools may alter their instructional materials or library collections in order to avoid issues with this proposed law." It is an invitation to schools to censor materials.
SB 1277 has already passed the State Senate on a fast track. Use the form on this page to make your voice heard with your members of the Pennsylvania House today. Please use your full address to locate your State Representative. Not all members of the House make their contact information available.