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House to Consider Bill to Prosecute Teachers for 'Obscene' Material

Kansas House members are expected to take up a measure later this week that would hold teachers criminally liable for showing students material deemed too sexual or profane for minors. The state Senate approved the bill last week. Sponsors said the bill was necessary to keep pornography out of the schools. Some Republicans have said they find much of the current material used in sexual education classes and even some classic literature to be obscene. Republican Senator Greg Smith of Overland Park says the senate made the right decision. He says teachers should not be shielded from prosecution for showing materials that would draw criminal penalties in any other context.

Democratic opponents say the law could be used to punish and intimidate teachers for merely doing their jobs. Opponents say school districts, not teachers, should be held liable for objectionable material since they are responsible for setting the curriculum and buying the books.

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