ACLU-PA Position: Opposes
SB 1277 would require school boards to develop a policy to:
- Identify specific instructional materials and books within school libraries containing “sexually explicit subjects” and “sexually explicit content” that are used by or made available to students;
- Provide parental notification of specific sexually explicit content prior to “student exposure”;
- Permit parents to review instructional materials and/or library books with “sexually explicit content”; and
- Provide alternative instructional materials at the request of the parent or guardian and/or prevent the student from viewing a library book.
The lynchpin of SB 1277 is 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. And while it doesn’t outright ban or censor educational or reference materials, it includes an explicit invitation for schools to consider such measures.
Check the bill's status here.