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IPFS News Link • New Jersey

New Jersey Bill Would Deny Funding To Schools If Their Libraries Remove Pornography

•, By Dave Huber

So states a headline from The Philadelphia Inquirer. However, immediately below a sub-headline uses "restrict access" in place of "ban."

A subtle, yet distinct, difference.

Last year there were 13 attempts to "restrict access" to books in New Jersey's public schools, according to the American Library Association. One effort pertained to "Gender Queer" (pictured) — the ALA's #1 most challenged book — which the Inquirer describes merely as the "chronicles [of] the author's sexual identity journey."

That journey includes, unfortunately, sexually explicit artwork that isn't permitted even in magazines such as Playboy and Penthouse.

The synopsis of Bill S3907 reads "Prohibits public libraries and public schools from banning or restricting access to certain books; permits withholding of State Aid for non-compliance."

Thus, elementary and middle schools which "restrict access" to books like "Gender Queer" could lose funding.

Bill sponsor Andrew Zwicker, who either has never seen what is in "Gender Queer" or believes it's cool for children to view explicit material, told the Inquirer "I wish we didn't have to do this. It's really discouraging to see the number of attempts going on in New Jersey and around the country. It's so unbelievable divisive and just wrong."

Senate Majority Leader Teresa Ruiz, a co-sponsor, added "The bigger and larger issue is that this is not something I think school boards should be dealing with. Libraries are sacred."