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School Librarians Face Criticism In Fight Over Book Scrutiny

Amid a national spike in book challenges and bans, school librarians across Tennessee are quickly becoming the target of scorn and skepticism from Republican lawmakers and parents pushing for more oversight on what materials are provided to children.

“I don’t appreciate what’s going in our libraries, what’s being put in front of our children and shame on you for putting it there,” Republican Rep. Jerry Sexton told a group of librarians during a Tuesday hearing.

Currently, Tennessee’s GOP-controlled General Assembly is mulling several proposals designed to implement more scrutiny and transparency in public school libraries. One version, backed by Gov. Bill Lee’s administration, would require school libraries to post their contents online and regularly review their policies to make sure the materials are “age-appropriate” and “suitable” for the children accessing them.

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