Editorial Roundup: Georgia

Brunswick News. February 24, 2024.

Editorial: Legislators going too far with proposed librarian punishments

A recent editorial in The News opposed a move in the Georgia General Assembly that would exert state control over lessons taught to pre-teens and teens in private schools. One of the reasons given why private religious schools might be among the first to raise objections to a measure that would put the government in control of school curriculum is the “what’s next” factor. Give lawmaking politicians an inch today and they will want a mile tomorrow, the editorial suggested.

Public schools may very well be teetering on the “what’s next” factor today. There is a burning desire among some Georgia senators to do more that penalize or fire school librarians who fail to follow state laws on censorship. In their estimation, breaking the rules is tantamount to a criminal act and they want them to be treated the same as any criminal who violated the laws of this state.

Is that to be the standard for any state employee or anyone else compensated by the state who violates a policy? Break a rule and go to jail?

That is taking non-compliance way too far. Losing one’s position in the school system or one’s job ought to be punishment enough. There is no need to press the issue further.

This is usually the problem that begins to surface when politicians are allowed to get their fingers on the business of educating children, our sons and daughters. They are never quite satisfied until they get both hands around the neck of the learning process.

Yes, parents ought to have the right to decide what their children have access to in public school libraries. They also have a right to expect the schools and their librarians to respect and honor their guidance or management of the reading material approved for their child.

But throw a school librarian in prison for intentionally or unintentionally allowing a boy or girl to check out a book that is on his or her list of forbidden reads?

While many parents appreciate the government protecting what young minds absorb mentally in school, they also would appreciate that same government to be just as concerned about the physical well-being of their children. What steps are legislators taking to beef up safety in the classrooms and school corridors, as well as on the school grounds?

It’s not always someone deranged who walks or drives onto school property uninvited. Often the threat is an unstable student within the school. What are legislators doing to better manage these situations?

The world is not getting any kinder. Please keep it in mind.