January 26, 2023

(Austin, TX) — State Representative Jared Patterson has officially filed HB 1655, entitled The READER Act. READER stands for ‘Removing Explicit and Adult Designated Educational Resources’. This bill seeks to eliminate sexually explicit books from public school libraries, hold book vendors who sell explicit  content to schools accountable, and provide legal protections for well-meaning schools and staff. This legislation is a direct result of Rep. Patterson’s work removing dozens of sexually explicit books from schools over the past 14 months.

Specifically, The READER Act will create mandatory library standards for public schools, provide parental controls for library catalogs, force book vendors to rate sexual materials, and mandate internal book reviews and reporting for each school district. Under this bill, book vendors are forced to rate “sexually explicit” and “sexually relevant” materials and submit lists of all sexually inappropriate books sold to school districts. The Texas Education Agency (TEA) would also be given new authority to ban book vendors from doing business with Texas school districts who incorrectly rate books sold in Texas.

This bill ensures sexually explicit materials will no longer have a home in public school libraries. It also has a parental oversight mechanism to ensure parents can control their student’s access to any material rated sexually relevant. Further, it provides legal protections for hardworking school staff, including libriarans, who may unknowingly have materials like these on the shelves, by placing the liability on the vendors.

“The sexualization of our children must stop. No legislator in the country will work harder than I will to ensure our kids are protected from radical sexualization, whether that be through social media, in the classroom, or in the school library. This session, book vendors selling explicit content to Texas school children will be held accountable.” stated Rep. Patterson. “My HB 1655 – aka The READER Act – and my HB 1155 are the most aggressive attempts to remove sexual indoctrination in the country.”

Jared Patterson represents House District 106, which encompasses the eastern portion of Denton County. During the 86th Legislative Session, Patterson authored and passed initiatives in policy areas such as transportation, education, property taxes, as well as eliminated unnecessary and burdensome government regulations. Patterson serves on the House Committees on Business & Industry, Calendars, and Homeland Security & Public Safety. He also serves on the Texas Cybersecurity Council. His family resides in Frisco.