TN rep claims Wilson County School Board is in violation of criminal law because of a book

WILSON COUNTY, Tenn. (WKRN) – The controversy over the book ban in the state of Tennessee continues.

Last week, the Wilson County School Board voted to move the perks of Being a Wallflower To the adult reading list.

Following that decision, the school board received a letter from a Tennessee state representative claiming that not removing the school board violated a state law.

“Tennessee law is clear, it is illegal to provide these books to these children,” said state representative Susan Lynn of District 57.

On Wednesday, state Rep. Lynn Wilson sent a letter to the county school board. she said, keeping the tPerks of him being a wallflower High school lockers are a violation of the state’s criminal obscenity law. She cited a section of the law that says there are exceptions in the case of an educational setting, except when the material is displayed to a minor.

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“I disagree with her interpretation of the law. But I’m not surprised by that,” Carrie Pfeiffer said.

Last week, passionate arguments arose on both sides about whether the book should stay or go. The school board decided to move it to an adult reading list where parents would have to give their child permission to check out the book.

“Voters have given us the right and the authority to make these decisions,” Pfeiffer said.

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The Legislature recently passed legislation requiring schools to create a policy for reviewing books. The Wilson County School Board formed a book review committee. The committee proposed eleven books. Two books have been removed.

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“Those obscene books should never even get to the school review board because they’re already illegal,” Lynn said.

“Her opinion that the book was obscene is what she based her allegations on, which have always been difficult areas to determine in the courts,” Ronald Harris said.

A Nashville First Amendment attorney, Ronald Harris, weighed in on both laws. “I think it’s very difficult for a prosecutor to look at this and say it’s obscene. I think that would be a very difficult case for them to make.

According to Rep. Lynn’s letter, she asked the school board to take immediate action and remove the book from schools.

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Rep. Susan Lynn told News 2 she is talking with the state attorney general’s office about how to proceed with the books, which she believes violate state obscenity law. She later wrote in a statement:

“School districts must document the obscene book titles they ship and provide the titles and supplier information to the Tennessee Attorney General’s office. His office can contact these companies, make them aware of our obscenity law, and take any additional action necessary.

At the system level, obscene books shipped to schools are to be boxed up and sent back to the supplier for credit or refund because they clearly violate state obscenity law.”


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