500 signatures reached
To: House Majority Leader Mike Lefor
Don't Send North Dakota Librarians to Jail
North Dakota librarians, educators, and museum professionals are under attack at the North Dakota Legislature. House Bill 1205 would subject every employee of a school or library to criminal prosecution under obscenity laws for any books, ebooks, and educational resources in their library.
HB 1205 would criminalize our librarians, teachers, and museum staff for following the guidance of their locally-elected library and school boards. HB 1205 would make those public employees subject to 30 days jail time and costly lawsuits over anything a person might find “obscene”, from classic literature to anatomy textbooks.
Why is this important?
We are all concerned with creating positive, safe, and welcoming environments for our children. But going after public libraries and schools means that this isn't about kids. It's about a small group of people controlling what all North Dakotas are able to read or see. Only 8% of voters in the US think that there are "many books that are inappropriate and should be banned". It is a small group of people pushing for these kinds of bills and book bans around the country. They talk about books about sex and sexuality, but award-winning authors like Margaret Atwood, F. Scott Fitzgerald, or even James Joyce could be caught in the crosshairs of ‘obscenity’ challenges too. Even Winnie the Pooh was called into question for not wearing pants. Our local library and school boards are accountable to the communities they serve, and those are the right venues to address book challenges, not a top-down obscenity law from the legislature. We can’t let a bill like HB1205 expose every school, library,and the public servants who work in them, to criminal prosecution to satisfy a few crusaders.
It's not a reasonable thing to make criminals out of our librarians and educators. Please join the citizens of North Dakota in opposing HB1205 now. The bill is being heard in the House Judiciary Committee. Please take a moment and tell your Representative in the North Dakota House to help stop this bill before it goes any further. Use the form on this page to send your message today.