• Library Advocate Dan Kleinman Submits Testimony On Connecticut's Right to Read Act, Which Could Prevent Parents From Challenging Controversial Books

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    The founder of the World Library Association (WLA) and staunch library advocate Dan Kleinman submitted eye-opening written testimony against HB05417, Connecticut's Right to Read Act which is essentially a mandate to transform reading with an "equity lens".

    Kleinman started off with a bit of a history lesson about the American Library Association (ALA) which is a Chicago-based organization that Kleinman says has been working to sexualize and indoctrinate children through its so-called "Library Bill of Rights" which considers it "age" discrimination to keep any titles away from children, no matter how explicit the content.

    This position, in turn, has led to increasing numbers of complaints to libraries, along with more book challenges.

    ALA now wants to see its "Library Bill of Rights" get codified into law, effectively overruling the U.S. Supreme Court case of Board of Education v. Pico and theoretically blocking parents from being able to file complaints about any library books in the first place.

    Such legislation has already passed into law in Illinois, ALA’s home state, though it has been rejected in neighboring Rhode Island.

    "For opposing a similar law in New Jersey, also promoted by that same Illinois private organization [ALA], NJ state senator Andrew Zwicker called me a 'meddling minority'," writes Kleinman who argues that the meddling is being done is by the ALA which has pushed similar legislation into 20 states so far. Kleinman has detailed the problems with the legislation on the WLA's Right to Read Act page.

    Kleinman pointed to the Connecticut Constitution, Article I, Section 16, where it says: "The citizens have a right … to apply to those invested with the powers of government, for redress of grievances, or other proper purposes, by petition, address or remonstrance." 

    "If HB 05417 passes into law, it will immediately violate the Connecticut Constitution because parents will lose the right to seek redress from the school board whose hands are now tied by the law.  This is why you don’t want a private organization from Illinois writing any laws for Connecticut.  ALA simply doesn’t give a whit about the Connecticut Constitution or anything else for that matter," argues Kleinman who goes on to offer examples of how the ALA plans on manipulating legislators into supporting ALA goals.

    As Utah Senator Mike Lee recently put it, “the goal is to sexualize children, to provide minors with sexually explicit material, and then hide this content from the parents.” 

    Kleinman pointed out that books like Gender Queer have been successfully removed from many schools under the Pico case, much to the chagrin of the ALA.

    HB 05417 would make the following the law of Connecticut:

    “No board shall remove or restrict access to library material for any of the following: (1) Partisan approval or disapproval of any library material by the board; (2) An author’s race, nationality, gender identity, sexual orientation or political or religious views; (3) Personal discomfort, morality or political or religious views of a member or members of the board; (4) An author’s points of view concerning current events, whether international, national or local; (5) The race, nationality, gender identity, sexual orientation or political or religious views of a protagonist or other characters or as otherwise represented in the library material; or (6) The content of the library material is related to sexual health and addresses physical, mental, emotional or social dimensions of human sexuality, including, but not limited to, puberty, sex and relationships.” 

    Kleinman says HB 05417 defies the Pico case that allows schools to immediately remove materials that are educationally unsuitable or pervasively vulgar. 

    He further argues that all educators would have to do to justify keeping a book like Gender Queer in school would be to say the book is "related to sexual health and addresses physical, mental, emotional or social dimensions of human sexuality, including, but not limited to, puberty, sex and relationships."

    "Pervasive vulgarity or educational unsuitability and the Pico case goes right out the window when the words of HB 05417 are applied.  Not only does HB 05417 eliminate the US Supreme Court Pico case, it also eliminates the First Amendment’s and Connecticut Constitution’s grant of right of redress.  If the school board is constrained by law from removing Gender Queer and similar books, then parent’s rights to seek redress of the government are eliminated, gone, this is the goal of ALA," cautioned Kleinman.

    He continued, "Under HB 05417, there is no longer a right to ask a school board to remove a book from the school.  Those rights are gone.  HB 05417 takes those rights away.  Under the wording of HB 05417, there is not a single book in the library now or ever that may be challenged by a parent and removed by a school board.  This is the goal of the Illinois based private organization called ALA."

    Kleinman urged legislators not to pass the "Chicago ALA’s" HB 05417 into law.

    You can read Kleinman's full statement here.

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