State Senate panel passes book banning bill

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Intermediate

Words and phrases

obscene
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ɑbˈsiːn
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shockingly offensive or rude, usually swearing, sex, or other adult content
sexually explicit
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ɪkˈsplɪsət
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showing or very clearly mentioning adult content, such as sex or nudity
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ATLANTA – A law that would create a state group to create rules for books that could be banned from public school libraries as [.fow1-1]obscene[.fow1-1] cleared a Georgia Senate committee late Wednesday.

“This bill is about making sure our public school libraries are not places for kids to be [shown] [.fow1-2]sexually explicit[.fow1-2] materials,” Sen. Clint Dixon, R-Buford, chairman of the Senate Education and Youth Committee and the bill’s main author, said before the vote.

Senate Bill 394 would create the Georgia Council of Library Materials Standards, whose members would be chosen by the governor, lieutenant governor, speaker of the House, House minority leader, and Senate minority leader. The group would create a grading system that would be used to decide which books fit the legal definition of “harmful to [children]” or “[.fow1-2]sexually explicit[.fow1-2]” and therefore should be banned.

Schools that fail to follow the rules the group creates would not be subject to criminal charges. However, they would be subject to complaints from parents that might lead to legal problems.

Representatives for several religious organizations spoke out in favor of the bill Wednesday.

Taylor Hawkins of FrontLine Policy Council said the law simply requires keeping the same material out of the hands of children in the public schools that is already banned on the streets of Georgia.

“It’s a common-sense bill,” he said.

obscene
/
ɑbˈsiːn
/
shockingly offensive or rude, usually swearing, sex, or other adult content
sexually explicit
/
ɪkˈsplɪsət
/
showing or very clearly mentioning adult content, such as sex or nudity
/
/
/
/
/
/
advocate
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ˈædvəkət
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a person who argues for or supports a specific program, law, or issue
homosexuality
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ˌhoʊməˈsɛkʃəwəl
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to do with same-sex (male/male or female/female) relationships
identifies as
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aɪˈdɛntəˌfaɪ
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to recognize or decide that you belong to a particular group of people
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But several human rights [.fow2-1]advocates[.fow2-1] and teachers complained the bill could be used to attack books about [.fow2-2]homosexuality[.fow2-2].

Tracey Nance, Georgia’s 2020-21 Teacher of the Year, said about 10% of the state’s population [.fow2-3]identifies as[.fow2-3] LGBTQ.

“This bill is not what Georgians want and, more importantly, it’s not who Georgians are,” she said.

Sen. Elena Parent, D-Atlanta, who voted against the law, said gay Americans enjoy full legal rights now that the U.S. Supreme Court has allowed gay marriage.

advocate
/
ˈædvəkət
/
a person who argues for or supports a specific program, law, or issue
homosexuality
/
ˌhoʊməˈsɛkʃəwəl
/
to do with same-sex (male/male or female/female) relationships
identifies as
/
aɪˈdɛntəˌfaɪ
/
to recognize or decide that you belong to a particular group of people
/
/
/
/
indoctrinate
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ɪnˈdɑːktrəˌneɪt
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to teach someone, but only one specific view and to not consider any other ideas or beliefs
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“There are going to be children in schools whose parents are gay,” she said. “(This bill) is an attempt to [.fow3-1]indoctrinate[.fow3-1] values.”

But Republicans on the committee said the law is not an effort to hurt any groups of Georgians.

“We’re not [naming] any specific act of sexuality,” said Sen. Ed Setzler, R-Acworth. “It’s not attempting to [.fow3-1]indoctrinate[.fow3-1] students.”

The law now moves to the Senate Rules Committee to plan a floor vote.

indoctrinate
/
ɪnˈdɑːktrəˌneɪt
/
to teach someone, but only one specific view and to not consider any other ideas or beliefs
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