Senate Republicans Object to Democrats Misguided Bill That Oversteps Parents, Local School Boards
February 12, 2024
Senate Republican Leader Anthony M. Bucco and Senators Joe Pennacchio and Declan O’Scanlon, issued the following statements objecting to a Democrat push of legislation that would protect school officials and librarians from distributing explicit and obscene materials to minors and expressing concerns about the State interjecting more erroneous mandates on local communities.
Senate Republican Leader Anthony M. Bucco (R-25):
“S2421 clearly oversteps the role that parents, and local school boards have in reviewing and approving the kinds of materials that are appropriate for their students to consume. State government should not be dictating how schools and local public libraries operate. We’re talking about a bill that would provide immunity to people who violate the New Jersey Criminal Justice Code when we should be focused on addressing our massive teacher shortage, helping students with the immense learning loss from the pandemic, and restoring funding cuts that Democrats made to schools across New Jersey.”
Senator Joe Pennacchio (R-26):
“State bureaucrats should not be in the business of forcing local boards of education and public libraries to adopt policies for their books and other materials. S2421 would establish a dangerous precedent that removes oversight from the communities and gives more power to state officials who put politics over people. Legislation like this does nothing but further divide our state in a battle over egos when we should be looking for pragmatic ways to serve the people and work with our local municipalities for the best possible outcome for everyone, especially our kids.”
Senator Declan O’Scanlon (R-13):
“The ‘Freedom to Read Act’ is anything but free. Imposing mandated minimum requirements and removing oversight from local school boards and parents is the antithesis of freedom. This attempt by Democrats to trick New Jerseyans into supporting legislation that would open the door to a plethora of unintended consequences is irresponsible at best.”
The full text of the legislation can be read online.