The Florida Legislature supports limits to book challenges

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Banned books. Displayed at The Hive St. Pete. By Seán Kinane/WMNF News (Aug. 2023)

©2024 The News Service of Florida

The Florida House on Thursday gave final approval to an education bill that includes seeking to limit school library book objections from people who don’t have children in schools.

The bill (HB 1285) says that a “resident of the county who is not the parent or guardian of a student with access to school district materials may not object to more than one material per month.”

The House passed a version of the bill in February that sought to assess $100 “processing” fees for unsuccessful book objections by certain people.

The Senate, however, changed the bill to limit people without children in schools to one challenge per month. House members on Thursday accepted the change and voted 84-29 to approve the revised bill, putting it in a position to go to Gov. Ron DeSantis.

The bill comes after the Legislature and DeSantis since 2022 have approved measures that increased scrutiny of school-library books and classroom materials.

DeSantis last month issued a statement saying that he had called on the Legislature to take steps to curb “frivolous” book challenges, adding that some Floridians “abused” the process of filing objections.

Democrats have long opposed easing the process for objecting to books, likening books being pulled from library shelves to book bans.

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