Anti-Freedom Bills

The Indiana Senate and House of Representatives pass hundreds of bills every year that affect the people of Indiana. The bills that are proposed and passed depend upon the views of those elected to the seats in the state legislature.. Of course, this will mean those people will pass bills that the public disagrees with and can negatively affect certain minorities.

Two bills I want to talk about in particular are House Bill 1608 (HB-1608) and Senate Bill 12 (SB-12). SB-12 is a bill that will affect school libraries and will allow parents of a student enrolled at a school to complain about any book being inappropriate. Schools will be required to respond to these complaints and possibly have the book in question pulled from shelves. With this power, parents will have the ability to get any book they remotely dislike, possibly because of their beliefs, taken out of the school libraries. Does that book depict realistic mental health problems in a teen? Nope. Take it out. Does this book have a few descriptions of adult language and other mature topics? Sorry, we can’t have that. What about a book referencing two people of the same gender in a consenting, healthy relationship? Nope, sorry, some parents didn’t want that in the library either. I personally am of the belief that schools shouldn’t ban any type of book. We are teenagers and most of us are young adults. We can make our own decisions about what books we can read. And if we don’t like a particular book? We’ll just pick a different book that we actually like.

The other bill, HB-1608, is one that can actually pose a serious threat to members of the LGBTQ+ community, especially transgender kids. This bill will make it so teachers will be unable to talk about human sexuality and can’t answer a student’s question on certain topics (likely questions of sexuality). This bill will also have schools needing to receive parent permission before they use a student’s preferred name or pronouns. This will be detrimental to a trans student, as it will basically out them to their parents, which can become dangerous for the student if their parents or legal guardians are homophobic or transphobic. Their home lives will become a dangerous place to live, the exact opposite of protecting children. 

If these bills get passed, it’s possible that our freedoms as students will be reduced. Fortunately, I thought of two ways to fight back, but they only can be done for HB-1608. The bill says schools can’t talk about human sexuality, but what if we used the animal kingdom to explain sexuality. This way, school can work around the human aspect of sexuality, as animals also experience same-sex attraction in the wild. Also, if a school can’t talk about sexuality, this should include heterosexuality.

The government is trying to reduce our rights as students and our privacy regarding our sexuality and gender.  With any hope and luck, we can get the people in power to realize that if they pass these bills, not only will we dislike them, but we will have the power to kick them out of office when the time comes.