Rabb introduces legislation to protect public school students’ right to learn

HARRISBURG, April 19 – State Rep. Chris Rabb, D-Phila., announced today that he will be reintroducing legislation that would establish procedures to protect public school students’ right to read and learn.

Pennsylvania has the dubious distinction of being the state with the second highest number of books banned from school libraries and curriculum by school boards.

“If school boards are going to try to usurp the will of educators and students, they must first go through a rigorous process to ensure that the voices of a district’s teachers, librarians, administrators and students are heard prior to making these important decisions,” Rabb said. “Often, these types of book bans are harmful to students of color and LGBTQ+ youth, as they restrict books that discuss many serious and real issues impacting these communities.”

This legislation would require school boards to establish an educational resource material review committee that goes through a thorough review of the materials as facilitated by experts familiar with the content of the disputed material prior to a motion being made by an elected school board to remove such material. As well, the legislation would prohibit school districts from banning books because they discuss topics like race and LGBTQ+ issues.