Arizona Lawmaker Criticizes Katie Hobbs’s Veto of Bill Criminalizing Illicit Videos In Schools

Arizona Governor Katie Hobbs vetoed a bill to prevent pornography in schools and drew the wrath of fellow lawmakers. Republican State Senator Jake Hoffman accused the Governor of disregarding the well-being of Arizona’s young people.

“It’s absolutely sickening that Katie Hobbs is allowing pornography to be filmed in our state’s taxpayer-funded classrooms. These should be safe spaces for our kids to learn in,” Hoffman said.

Senator Hoffman introduced Senate Bill 1696 when two teachers from Mohave County were fired for making a pornographic film of themselves in a classroom and posting it online. The bill aimed to prevent state employees from exposing children to explicit material and prohibit teachers from using school property for explicit purposes, but Governor Hobbs said it was a veiled attempt “to ban books.”

As the bill prohibits explicit content in schools, it would likely have led to the banning of books such as “Gender Queer,” a so-called LGBTQ publication that depicts adult acts and is the subject of parental outrage across America. The book is one of many to be pulped from schools because it contains graphic images of intimate acts. The book was pulled from schools in Florida in 2021. Other states, including South Carolina, Utah, Texas, and Michigan, followed suit. The Los Angeles Times describes “Gender Queer” as the “most banned book in America.”

Maia Kobabe, who identifies as “non-binary” and uses the pronouns e, em and eir, wrote the book in 2019. It has sold more than 90,000 copies and been translated into Spanish, French, and other languages. The author insists she wrote the book as a challenge to censors and that it documents her feelings and experiences growing up in rural northern California.

Books featuring explicit adult descriptions and images, as well as those teaching critical race theory (CRT), are forbidden in the schools of several US states. Florida’s Ron DeSantis pulped CRT textbooks in 2022, saying they teach children to hate their skin color and promote racial division.