Maryland Legislators Set Standards For Book Banning

The bill includes strict criteria for removing material.

Annapolis, Md. (BW)- The Maryland General Assembly passed legislation on April 2 aimed at stopping book banning in county and public school libraries.

The Freedom to Read Act sets standards to protect material from being removed.

The bill defines certain state-wide criteria that libraries must follow such as the following…

“Materials may not be excluded from a school library media program solely because of the origin, background, or views of the individual who created the material.”

“Materials may not be excluded or removed from the catalogue of a school library media program because of partisan, ideological, or religious disapproval.”

Criteria also listed in the bill requires local school systems to develop a uniform policy to hear out objections to material.

The bill prohibits governing bodies from retaliating against employees of the library or school system for properly following these policies.

The state has the ability to withhold funding from the library or program if these criterion are not met.

A political advocacy group in Carroll County, Moms for Liberty, opposes this bill. They believe this bill would allow sexually explicit material inside public schools.

As of September 2023, over 56 books have been temporarily banned.

The bill now heads to Governor Wes Moore to be signed into law or vetoed.