Protecting Kids From Harmful Materials: A Look at Florida’s House Bill 1467

In the wake of Florida’s House Bill 1467, signed last year by Gov. Ron DeSantis, school districts in the state are required to catalog and review every book on their shelves. But across the state, districts have taken widely different approaches to this law for “curriculum transparency,” with some covering their classroom libraries in sheets or using COVID relief funds to buy books deemed appropriate.[0]

The law requires districts to catalog every book on their shelves and put a formal review process in place for complaints, and school districts must decide what’s appropriate. A recent video presentation by the governor showed the types of books he wants to be removed from schools due to their content, including those that are reportedly pornographic, violent, or inappropriate for the grade level.[1] He further suggested that educators in Florida should be aware of which books are potentially considered to be pornographic in schools.[2]

The governor has been adamant that no books are being banned, but rather the state is protecting children from harmful materials that are not age appropriate.[3] The Florida Department of Education Commissioner Manny Diaz, Jr. has also weighed in, stating that “removing clear instances of pornography and sexually explicit materials, often within arms reach of our youngest kids, is not book banning.”[4]

In response to this law, a ‘Banned Book Library’ was created in St. Pete.[5] This library is stocked with books that were banned from Florida public schools, and stands as a symbol of the freedom of speech and to access information.

Overall, it is clear that the Florida government has set out to protect children from pornographic and inappropriate materials, while still allowing books that are beneficial to students in the classroom. The reminder to parents and teachers is that they need to be aware of what their children are reading, and the importance of having an open dialogue about the materials children are exposed to in school.

0. “Protesters continue fight against book bans in Brevard Public Schools” Florida Today, 8 Mar. 2023,

1. “PEN America CEO Suzanne Nossel Responds to Remarks by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis that Book Bans Are a ‘Hoax'” PEN America, 9 Mar. 2023,

2. “Education commissioner supports DeSantis’ ‘debunk’ of ‘book ban hoax’ during Tampa visit”, 8 Mar. 2023,

3. “Gov. DeSantis speaks out against “book ban hoax”” WPEC, 8 Mar. 2023,

4. “DeSantis: Florida removing porn, not banning books” WESH 2 Orlando, 9 Mar. 2023,

5. “Gov. Ron DeSantis: Florida banning books is a ‘nasty’ hoax” FOX 13 Tampa, 8 Mar. 2023,

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