Committee rejects ban on 'obscene material' in Maine schools

Posted at 9:56 AM, Feb 12, 2019
and last updated 2019-02-12 09:56:36-05

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) — Maine legislators have rejected a bill that would have required teachers to notify parents and students before teaching with literature deemed "obscene."

Democrats and Republicans on the Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee unanimously rejected the measure Monday. The bill would have allowed teachers to be prosecuted criminally if they taught materials that were violent or sexually explicit without notifying parents and students.

Republican Rep. Amy Arata proposed the legislation after she took offense to her son being assigned to read Haruki Murakami's "Kafka on the Shore." The book contains explicit descriptions of sexual activity.

Arata said she felt her bill had been "misinterpreted from the beginning." She also indicated she would look to address the matter without making it a criminal offense.