http://www.kmbc.com/news/kansas-bill-wo ... l/31122754
A bill in the Kansas Legislature could lead to teachers facing criminal charges for showing students materials that parents would consider harmful and offensive.
While supporters believe the bill protects children and staff members from sexual material in schools, critics argue it could make teachers scared to teach and ban some literary classics.
Senate Bill 56 resulted from a sex education poster displayed on classroom doors at Hocker Grove Middle School in early 2014. The poster described the ways people express sexual feelings, a list that included kisses and hand-holding and more intimate actions.
"There was a list of sexual acts, some of which were highly offensive," said Sen. Mary Pilcher-Cook, the bill's sponsor.
Mark Ellis said that after his 13-year-old daughter saw the poster, he fought to protect her.
Pilcher-Cook said she wants legislation in place to protect all Kansas students from kindergarten through high school. Her bill would prohibit the distribution of sexually offensive material that a reasonable person would find offensive and lacks literary or scientific value.
"I think our kids are subject to enough sexual content on the Internet, on TV, on billboards," said parent Karl Orlich.
The bill would also erase Kansas educators' exemption from criminal prosecution, allowing them to face charges if they present harmful material.
Some parents told KMBC 9 News that they're not OK with that part of the bill.
"They probably wouldn't want to be held accountable for every individual parent's preferences," said parent Megan Smith.
"If a teacher is afraid that they're going to be charged and convicted of a misdemeanor just for doing their job, they're going to be a lot less likely to share any information that someone somewhere might object to," said Micah Kubic, the executive director of the ACLU of Kansas.
The ACLU and the Kansas National Education Association have both testified against the bill, saying that it's too broad and could ban literary classics like "Huckleberry Finn" and "Catcher in the Rye." They argue that parents already have tools they can use if they object to materials without the threat of criminal charges.
Why do you hate the children, ACLU?