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Removing Sexually Explicit Books in Florida Schools Can Take Months – But That’s About to Change

Lawmakers just passed a new bill that will help parents more easily remove inappropriate books from school libraries.

TALLAHASSEE, FLORIDA — Removing sexually explicit library books from Florida public schools is about to get much easier.

Lawmakers passed HB 1069 on Friday, which reforms the current process residents can use to challenge inappropriate books in schools. The governor is expected to sign the bill into law.


Much of the media coverage surrounding the bill has focused on its prohibition on discussion of sexual orientation and gender identity through 8th grade – an expansion of the Parental Rights in Education bill passed in 2022.

However, HB 1069 also adds a new requirement to the challenge process that will impact books depicting “sexual conduct” that are not part of the school district’s sex ed curriculum.

If a resident in the district challenges one of these books, the bill requires the district to remove the book until the objection is resolved. Currently, challenged books stay on the shelf until a final decision is made to remove the book.

In Hillsborough County Public Schools, it took nearly seven months for the district to remove This Book is Gay – a book that provides readers with illustrations of naked men, techniques for anal sex and instructions on how to use the gay adult hookup app Grindr. During those seven months, students at Pierce Middle School could still access the book.

Under the newly passed legislation, This Book is Gay would have to be removed within five days after a challenge is submitted.


The bill also enshrines protections for parents to “read aloud at public meetings passages from material that is subject to an objection.”

Parents and other residents have been silenced at school board meetings when they read mature passages from library books. Following the governor’s signature, board members will no longer be permitted to mute the microphone of speakers based on the contents of the passage being read. If they do hold the mute button, the proposed law would require the district to pull the challenged book in question.


School libraries have become a battleground for the ongoing culture war in Florida. Many on the Left believe introducing children to issues related to sex is important. Conservatives argue that prematurely exposing them to these concepts can cause confusion and rob them of their innocence.

Sen. Clay Yarborough (R-Jacksonville) – who sponsored an identical bill in the Senate – said the legislation “sends a strong message that Florida is a safe place to raise children.”

“Florida parents are worried about the radical, prurient agenda that has become pervasive across most forms of media, specifically targeting young children,” Yarborough stated in a press release.

He added: “We need to let kids be kids, and our laws need to set appropriate boundaries that respect the rights and responsibilities of parents, while protecting children from the serious health, safety, and welfare consequences of social agendas that are totally inconsistent with how the overwhelming majority of parents want to raise their children.”