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Book Bans Missouri (copy)

Missouri Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft speaks to reporters on June 29 at his Capitol office in Jefferson City, Missouri. Ashcroft, a top Republican prospect for Missouri governor, wants to block public funding for library books that might appeal to the ‘prurient,’ or sexual interests of minors.

A recent proposal by the Missouri secretary of state has raised concerns about censorship in public libraries. Jay Ashcroft wants to block public funding for books that may appeal to the sexual interests of minors. In a statement, Ashcroft said the emphasis of this proposal would be to “bring back local control and parental involvement in determining what children are exposed to.” He added that protecting children is a top priority.

Some in the state, including librarians, have expressed concern that this could amount to a government attempt to stifle free speech, especially since the proposal does not specify what is meant by inappropriate or sexual interest of minors, nor does the secretary of state provide specific examples of the kinds of books that would no longer be funded by the state.

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