The South Carolina State Board of Education is about to vote on a standardized definition of “age appropriate” for educational resources in schools and libraries and ban all books that don’t meet their new standards.
This move is part of a broader trend among conservative leaders to limit students’ exposure to literature discussing race, gender identity, and sexual orientation. The policy’s advancement, following a vote on Tuesday, marks the start of a process that will likely conclude next year. The policy will then be reviewed by the Republican-dominated state Legislature, where a related bill is currently under consideration.
South Carolina’s State Board of Education deliberates a new policy to define ‘age appropriate’ materials in schools and libraries, aiming to restrict content on race, gender identity, and sexual orientation. https://t.co/np5ZbST9Nb
— Parent Herald (@ParentHerald) November 15, 2023
During a packed meeting in Columbia, South Carolina, attendees showed their affiliations: some wore Moms for Liberty t-shirts, a group known for advocating book bans, while others sported buttons from local groups championing diversity in literature.
Palmetto State Teachers Association lobbyist Patrick Kelly suggested restricting the complaint process to students, their families, and school staff. He argued that the current proposal could burden educators, forcing them to address complaints instead of focusing on student needs.
Critics argue that this regulation overreaches, potentially undermining local authorities and limiting access to inclusive literature that covers sensitive topics and supports students from diverse backgrounds.
If the new measures are passed, South Carolina would be joining Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, North Carolina in banning books of gender identity and sexual orientation in schools.
What do you think about the new restrictions?