AZ Senate gives preliminary OK to ban certain books from public schools

By Jill Ryan
Howard Fischer/Capitol Media Services
Published: Friday, March 10, 2023 - 10:47am

State senators gave preliminary approval to a bill that would direct the Arizona Department of Education to come up with a list of books to ban in public schools.

The parameters of SB 1700 go beyond lewd or sexual materials; it also includes materials that "promote gender fluidity or gender pronouns."

Democratic Sen. Christine Marsh, who is a teacher, says banning books would limit the ability for students to experience the full spectrum of human experiences.

"Should books kids read reflect the way we'd like the world to be or instead reflect the way the world actually is, at least for some kids," Marsh said. 

The bill’s sponsor, Republican Sen. Justine Wadsack, says children should not “be thinking of these things” until they’re 18 and in college. Stating that learning about erections or masturbation, even in high school, is perverted.  

"They don't need to be reading about their best friend's erection and what it felt like in their hand," Wadsack said. "I'm tired of the normalizing of this perversion."

The measure needs a final vote before going to the House.

Politics Education