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“Proposed Ohio Bill Sparks Controversy Over Teacher and Librarian Liability for ‘Obscene’ Materials”


OHIO – Ohio lawmakers are pushing forward with a new bill that could hold teachers and librarians accountable for distributing materials deemed “obscene,” potentially resulting in felony charges.

The proposed legislation, known as House Bill 556, aims to establish criminal liability for certain educators and librarians accused of pandering obscenity. Representative Adam Mathews (R-Lebanon) introduced the bill, which seeks to charge teachers and school district librarians with fifth-degree felonies for activities such as creating, reproducing, publishing, promoting, or advertising materials classified as “obscene.”

While the current version of the bill does not specify what materials would fall under the category of obscenity, The Law argues that such clarification is unnecessary as state law already provides a definition for the term.

If passed, the bill could have significant implications for educators and librarians across the state, potentially affecting their ability to curate and distribute educational materials. The proposed legislation has sparked debate among lawmakers and educators alike, with some expressing concerns about its potential impact on academic freedom and the ability to provide diverse educational resources.

As House Bill 556 progresses through the legislative process, its fate and implications for Ohio’s educational community remain uncertain.