East Tennessee parents, lawmakers react to proposed book ban bill

There’s mixed reaction to a state house bill that would ban “obscene” books in Tennessee public school libraries.
Parents, lawmakers react to bill that would ban "obscene" books
Published: Feb. 2, 2022 at 6:40 PM EST
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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - There’s mixed reaction to a state house bill that would ban “obscene” books in public school libraries.

House Bill 1944 was proposed by Rep. Scott Cepicky out of Culleoka. WVLT News called his office and emailed his secretary, but did not receive a response regarding why he introduced the bill or more detail on how “obscene” is defined.

One parent said he’s shocked state legislature would consider a bill regarding all “obscene” books.

Another parent who supports the bill felt school systems could find books that don’t have curse words, sexual or war scenes.

“My issue is what I may see as obscene, you may not,” explained Mary Lethco, “They’re not mature enough to you know to kind of overlook some of the things.”

Rep. Sam McKenzie said he believed the bill was an overreach.

“The Bible would be a banned book going by the criterion that they’ve set in this bill. It’s just bad,” said McKenzie.

Gov. Bill Lee mentioned at the State of the State address that if this bill is passed into law, it would create accountability at the local level.

“The vast majority of parents believe that they should be allowed to see books and curriculum and other items used in the classroom. That’s how I felt about my kids,” said Lee.

Rep. Gloria Johnson agreed with McKenzie and planned to not vote for the bill if it reached her.

“The most important thing here is history has never looked kindly on those who ban books,” said Johnson.

The bill still has more sub-committees to go through before it becomes a law.

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