Oregon bill challenging school book bans passes Senate

SALEM, Ore. – A bill trying to push back on book banning in Oregon has passed the senate.

Senate Bill 1583 would prevent schools and school districts from banning materials because they involve people in marginalized communities.

This would include books containing disability, immigrant or LGBTQ+ representation.

Oregon District 5 representative Pam Marsh says this bill has gathered a surprising amount of attention.

“It’s basically really affirming the importance of having a variety of options available for certain students in their schools,” Rep. Marsh said. “It doesn’t force that upon the decision makers.”

Rep. Marsh says the bill will not dictate books that need to be in schools but rather prevent schools from outright banning a book due to its content.

District 6 representative Kim Wallan says she is more worried about the bill controlling what books will be required by school districts.

“I have to assume that that is what is meant by the words on the page is that certain books are going to be required to be in school libraries or that will be instructional materials that maybe some individual boards wouldn’t,” Rep. Wallan said.

The bill now heads to the house education committee for another round of testimony Thursday.

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Taylar Ansures is a producer and reporter for NBC5 News. Taylar is from Redding, California and went to California State University, Chico. After graduating, she joined KRCR News Channel 7 in Redding as a morning producer. She moved to Southern Oregon in 2022 to be closer to family and became KTVL News 10’s digital producer. Taylar is currently finishing her Master's Degree in Professional Creative Writing through the University of Denver. In her free time, Taylar frequents independent bookstores and explores hiking trails across Southern Oregon and Northern California.
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