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SB 0226 - Sale or Distribution of Harmful Materials to Minors; provisions of Code Section 16-12-103 shall be applicable to libraries operated by schools; provide

Tracking Level: Watch
Sponsor: Jason Anavitarte
Last Action: 3/31/2021 - House - House Withdrawn, Recommitted
Senate Committee: Judiciary
House Committee: Judiciary - Non-Civil

Staff Analysis of the Legislation

GSBA-CWO Header 

SUMMARY:   LC 49 0441  LC 41 3067S (SCS)  LC 41 3138S

The House Judiciary Non-Civil Committee changed the bill again.  The proposed statute remains in Title 20 rather than the criminal code where it started. It began focused on school library materials but expanded to "material that is harmful to minors [that] has been provided or is currently available to a student enrolled in the local school system."  Instead of its being a criminal offense to provide such material as it started out, it now requires the local board to adopt a complaint resolution policy to address complaints submitted by parents or guardians of a child attending a school in the district.

The bill defines "harmful to minors" as meeting three conditions for "that quality of description or representation, in whatever form, of nudity, sexual conduct, sexual excitement, or sadomasochistic abuse" when it

  • "Taken as a whole, predominantly appeals to the prurient, shameful, or morbid interest of minors; 
  • Is patently offensive to prevailing standards in the adult community as a whole with respect to what is suitable material for minors; AND 
  • Is, when taken as a whole, lacking in serious literary, artistic, political or scientific value for minors" 

 By January 1, 2022, the local board must adopt the complaint resolution policy mentioned above.  The process must require that:

  • the complaints be submitted in writing to the principal of the school the student attends
  • the complaint provides a reasonably detailed description of the material alleged to be harmful to minors
  • Within seven business days of receiving the written complaint, the school principal or designee shall review the complaint and take reasonable steps to investigate the allegations, including reviewing the material if available
  • The school principal or designee shall determine whether the material is harmful to minors
  • The school principal or designee shall determine whether student access to the material shall be removed or restricted
  • Within ten business days of receiving the complaint, unless another schedule is agreed upon by the complainant and principal/designee, the principal or designee must confer with the complainant whether the material was found to meet the definition of harmful and whether it will be removed or restricted
  • Appeals of the principal's decision shall be subject to "full administrative and substantive review" by the local board of education
  • The review by the board must be done within 30 calendar days of receiving the written appeal unless a different timeframe is mutually agreed upon
  • Any relevant text or graphical material submitted for appeal that the board determines does not meet the definition of harmful shall be made available for electronic review by any adult on the school district website within 15 days of the determination and remain posted for at least 48 months
  • Each local board shall make accommodation in its material licensing agreements that public access for electronic review of such material shall be made available for the purposes of this bill

No later than September 1, 2021, the Department of Education shall create a model policy for a complaint resolution process that meets the above requirements 

EFFECTIVE DATE:

July 1, 2021 but note policy dates above 

 


Bill Summary from the State Site - Click for the State Summary Page / Click for Current Full Text