10th District Lawmakers Introduce Bill that Would Increase Transparency of School Libraries

10th District Lawmakers Introduce Bill that Would Increase Transparency of School Libraries

Senator Jim Holzapfel and Assemblymen Greg McGuckin and John Catalano (all R-10) introduced legislation that would require public schools to post a comprehensive list of all resources available in school libraries to their website to better inform parents of potentially inappropriate materials their children can access.

“When most people think of school libraries, they probably imagine a room full of old, classic books along and a few computers scattered here and there. While this may have been true a decade or two ago, school libraries nowadays contain far more resources than just books, and many parents may be shocked to see exactly what materials are available to their children,” said Sen. Holzapfel. “Today’s modern library contains access to all sorts of controversial topics, including books and articles about critical race theory (CRT)—which indoctrinates students with the absurd belief that people are inherently privileged, oppressive, or morally deficient due to little more than the circumstances of their birth. This legislation will make sure that public schools list all of this information online so that parents know precisely what type of information is accessible by their children.”

This bill, S-2722/A-3887, requires each public school that has a library to post on the school’s website a comprehensive list of every resource that is available in the library. This includes, but is not limited to: books, periodicals, DVDs, and databases. Any new resource ordered or purchased is required to be added to the list within 10 days of the order or purchase.

“School libraries are designed to be a helpful resource so that students can conduct research in a safe and supportive environment,” added Asm. McGuckin. “However, the Murphy Administration seems to have no problem allowing information about CRT and gender identity to creep into our school libraries. Our goal with this legislation is to increase transparency between the information available in schools and the general public.”

The District 10 lawmakers all voted against New Jersey’s controversial new sex education standards, which were supported by the Murphy Administration. The new curriculum, which takes effect in September 2022, is the result of legislation signed into law by Gov. Murphy in 2019 and 2021 and updated New Jersey Student Learning Standards in health and physical education unveiled in 2020 by the State Board of Education.

“From kindergarten to twelfth grade, there’s no doubt that school libraries have historically played an important role in a student’s academic development,” said Asm. Catalano. “The issue now is that we have a social and political agenda that is being foisted on our children. Parents deserve the right to know what kind of information their kids have access to in the classroom. Making that information publicly available on school websites is the most effective way to do this.”

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