TN Legislative Bill 2407 is Newly Passed


Amber Burchfield

TN LEGISLATIVE BILL 2407 IS NEWLY PASSED- Books in Central High’s library now has to be cataloged due to Bill 2407 being passed.

Isabelle Martin, Staff Writer

With Tennessee schools now opening their doors to welcome students back, the state has some new ideas of their own. A bill called the Age Appropriate Materials Act of 2022 was introduced to the residents of Tennessee on March 24. This bill requires every teacher to catalog their classroom books into an online system. Many people have mixed feelings about this new bill due to parents being able remove books from schools. 

The Age Appropriate Materials Act of 2022’s goal is to standardize school library policies by having teachers scan every book in their classrooms into an app called Booksource. Once completed, parents are able to see what books are in their child’s classes, and can even request to have the book removed. While this leads to transparency for parents, it also turns into a witch hunt for teachers whose classroom lists may encourage things like free thinking or empathy and understanding for others who are not like the majority of Americans. Is this such a bad thing? Tennessee’s legislative body thinks so. 

Due to parents being able to see what their child is reading, those books can be targeted for having material that a parent, or anyone, objects to. They can then try to get the book banned, which might result in the book being taken out of the library and classroom permanently. This again causes tension between many individuals who might disagree on different topics.   

One example is, an LGBTQIA+ teenager is looking to learn more about themselves, but they cannot due to another individual not agreeing with the topics of the book. This can cause a student to feel left out or different because books related to them are not allowed in schools. Some political groups have already made it very clear that their intention is to ban books that they don’t deem appropriate. For lots of people, this is everything that doesn’t look like suburban America. 

Not only does this create more work for already overworked teachers and librarians who are already stretched for planning time, but it also leaves open the opportunity for unnecessary censorship in schools. After all, books should be allowed to reflect real life. Yet, not everyone agrees on the same topics as others. What many adults might not realize is that while they are removing books from our bookcases, their own children could be researching any number of topics on the internet. 

“The highly qualified teachers and librarians of our state can read between the lines and see exactly what is happening with this new bill, and that’s all I have to say on the topic,” said librarian, Ms. Melinda Martin, who has been working at Central’s E.Y. Chapin Library for 11 years now.