New Florida bill proposed would charge people who challenge library books or learning materials

Action News Jax has detailed the story of a Clay County man challenging more than a third of the total books in Florida schools. Now, there’s a new bill that will charge people a hundred dollars for each protest against a book in school libraries.

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The Florida House is moving forward with a bill that could lead to fees for people who challenge numerous library books or learning materials.

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The House Choice & Innovation Subcommittee on Thursday approved a bill that calls for people who make objections to more than five instructional materials during a year to be charged $100 for each additional objection. The proposed fees would apply to “a parent or resident who does not have a student enrolled in the school” where the material is located.

Action News Jax has kept viewers up to date with Bruce Friedman’s efforts to remove what he thinks are inappropriate books from Florida schools. This is what Friedman from Clay County, had to say when we spoke with him last year.

Read: Clay County parent responsible for more than one-third of all Florida book challenges

Read: Clay County father’s mic cut off at school board meeting while reading high school library book

Bruce Friedman said, “They’re all porn. These books were floating on the shelves, and nobody cared. Well, I care, and I’ve proven it, and now they’re gone.”

Because of Friedman and others, it was reported that Clay County District Schools gave an account of 489 objections that resulted in the removal of 177 book titles.

Friedman weighed in his thoughts about the bill in a statement that reads: “The fees bill will not pass into law (political suicide for a conservative). Even if it did pass, it will fail to stop my efforts.”

Locals said they don’t like the charge aspect of this bill.

“I don’t think there should be a charge,” Sam Cocolas said.

Another resident echoed the sentiment.

Read: Northeast Florida school districts review new book titles as students go back to school

“I didn’t know you guys were trying to do this town here. But I don’t think it should be a charge either,” Webster Austin said.

School districts would have to return money to people if their objections are upheld.

According to a House staff Analysis, Florida had 1,218 objections to books and other materials during the 2022-2023 fiscal year, resulting in 386 books being removed from schools.

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