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'Mama Bears' want input about what goes into school libraries; librarians say they already do

Posted at 4:28 PM, Feb 08, 2023

RICHMOND, Va. -- Some parents joined the Family Foundation at the Virginia State Capitol in Richmond on Wednesday to discuss the issue of parental rights when it comes to what happens in their child's classroom.

The faith-based organization highlighted several bills that have passed the House of Delegates and were now up for debate in Senate subcommittees.

One of the bills, House Bill 1379, would require school principals to keep a catalog of all audiovisual content in the school’s library, keep track of which books contain sexually explicit content, and make that information available to parents.

Del. Tim Anderson (R - Virginia Beach), who sponsored the bill, said he took issue with books such as “Assassination Classroom” an anime series available in some school libraries.

Other lawmakers said they wanted parents to have more input about guest speakers in their child's classroom.

The parents, who called themselves "Ma Ma Bears," said they are seeking more control over their children’s education.

"It is difficult for me to understand how schools have moved so far from academics and are spending more time emphasizing social and sexual issues in the classroom," Susan Roberson, of Chesterfield, said.

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In response to the bills, the Virginia Association of School Librarians said information about what's in the school library is already available to the public.

"Parental input is already enabled and is always welcome," an organization spokesperson said in a statement. "These bills only serve to undermine school librarians and the carefully crafted policies that guide library collection development.”

The bills supported by the Family Foundation passed the House of Delegates along party lines. The bill's sponsors said they had little hope the bills would make it through the Democrat-controlled Senate.

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