Too Graphic for the House
But just fine for school libraries?
Why is it so hard to keep literal pornography out of schools and libraries?
There was a very interesting exchange in the House Education Committee a couple weeks ago as members listened to public testimony regarding House Bill 139. This bill would have closed a loophole that allows obscene and even pornographic materials to be made available to minors in schools and libraries.
A testifier brought a book to the podium and warned Chairman Julie Yamamoto that what she was about to read was pornographic. Yamamoto stated that she would not allow it to be read, citing the presence of an underage page in the room.
Rep. Tony Wiesnewski interjected: “Madam Chairman, I object. If we cannot read the material that is in some of the public libraries in the juvenile section here in front of the audience of adults, what are we trying to do?”
“I am not going to allow it,” Yamamoto replied sharply.
Wiesnewski pressed: “It shows how serious this problem is if we can’t even discuss it,” at which point Yamamoto interrupted him, saying “Your point has been made. We’re not doing it.”
A few minutes later, Yamamoto and eight other members of the committee voted to kill H.139.
Wiesnewski had a point. If a book was too graphic to be read in front of a House committee, even with 17-year-old pages present, then isn’t it too graphic to be on high school library shelves?
Another thing to note is that both Yamamoto and vice-chair Lori McCann voted in favor of H.139’s predecessor, H.666, on the House floor last year. Then they both voted against H.139, despite assurances that it was a better bill. Did something change their minds? Or did they feel free to vote yes last year knowing that the Senate would never let the bill come up for a vote?
The House Education Committee has been a source of frustration for conservatives this year. Chairman Yamamoto was caught plotting behind the scenes to make sure that S.1038 would not be heard in her committee, prior to it being voted down in the Senate. Then she was caught reassuring librarians that H.139 would never pass, and that she instead supported a much weaker bill that was written with the help of librarians.
One would think that preventing schoolchildren from accessing pornographic materials would be a no-brainer in Idaho, but that is clearly not the case. Some legislators are clearly fooled into thinking these materials are not really being handed out. Others are dying on the hill of free speech, even if that means allowing children to be groomed with pornography. Still others are completely controlled by the teachers’ unions and librarians, who have decided that porn for children is the civil rights battle of our time.
Thankfully, there are some in the Legislature who are fighting to protect our children. Rep. Jaron Crane, who sponsored H.139, has a new bill to keep these items out of the hands of schoolchildren. Rather than trying House Education again, Crane will instead present this bill to the House State Affairs Committee tomorrow, Tuesday March 14. Hopefully it gets a fair hearing and is sent to the floor with a “do pass” recommendation.
After all, if we cannot do something as basic as keeping literal pornography out of our schools and libraries, then our country is in much worse shape than we thought.
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A woman with power will not be messed with. This is absolutely ridiculous and she refuses to see how idiotic she is. I refuse to allow wimnez to address me like she did to the other member of the board. Too many of our the Idaho state representatives are bought and paid for and are working for Satan.
Brian, thank you! When you get the bill number, could you provide links to the bill, the House State Affairs Committee, and other guidance so voters can weigh in?
I haven't seen the new bill, but here's the thing: Material that is illegal to provide to children outside of a library should be illegal inside. And if materials provided in the public and school libraries are too offensive to read aloud during public testimony where children might hear and be exposed to them, then they are too offensive -- PERIOD!