“Sexually explicit material" is defined as material that describes, depicts, or portrays sexual conduct in a way that is patently offensive (as specified in the Penal Code).
The Texas State Library and Archives Commission, with majority approval from the SBOE, must adopt standards for school library collection development with which districts must comply. The standards must be reviewed/updated at least once every five years, and must prohibit the possession/acquisition of harmful material (defined in the Penal Code), sexually explicit material, or pervasively vulgar or educationally unsuitable material as per a specified legal case. The standards must also recognize that parents are the primary decision makers regarding a student's access to library material, must encourage schools to provide catalog transparency, and must prohibit the removal of materials based solely on the ideas contained in the material or the personal background of the author or characters.
Library material vendors must issue ratings regarding material that is sexually explicit or sexually relevant (describes sexual conduct but does not meet the "sexually explicit" definition). A vendor cannot sell materials to a district/charter unless they have rated their materials. A vendor cannot sell sexually explicit material and must issue a recall for copies already sold that are rated sexually explicit. The vendors must notify TEA of materials they sold that are rated sexually explicit or sexually relevant and that are still in active use by the district/school (beginning April 1, 2024).
TEA can review unrated or incorrectly rated material and notify the vendor if action needs to be taken regarding a corrected rating. TEA will post a list of vendors who fail to comply with a directive to correct a rating and take necessary action, and districts/charters cannot purchase library materials from such vendors.
Districts and employees are not liable for any claim or damage resulting from a vendor's noncompliance.
Districts must obtain written parent consent for their students to access material rated sexually relevant.
By Jan. 1 of odd-numbered years, districts/charters must review materials in their catalog rated sexually relevant and determine whether to retain them. They must either post or provide physical copies of a report that includes the title of materials so reviewed and the decision regarding the material. The first such review must be conducted no later than Jan. 1, 2025.