Bill backed by Georgia Republicans seeks internet filters for schools

Child pornography and the other obscene or “harmful” material to be blocked are defined over several of the 10 pages of the bill. School districts could lose a portion of their state funding for failing to implement the required measures.

Another bill that would target obscenity has already passed the Senate and is awaiting a hearing in a House committee.

Senate Bill 226, introduced last year, would streamline the process for removing books from schools.

Currently, objections are handled by school committees that include librarians. The proposal would make school principals handle complaints, giving parents the option to appeal to the school board.

HB 1217 is a different take on legislation Jones once opposed. In 2020, several House Republicans were pushing legislation that would have enhanced penalties against any “person affiliated” with a school — including a guest speaker — who knowingly shared materials considered obscene with minors.

Jones explained late last year that she was concerned about penalizing educators who might have inadvertently or unintentionally exposed students to inappropriate material.

Rep. Karen Mathiak, R-Griffin introduced that 2020 bill, and she has signed onto Jones’ new legislation.

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