During the school board workshop on March 28, the school board discussed a policy for challenges to the adoption or use of instructional, library, or reading list materials. The policy specifically lays out how a book or instructional material can be challenged and who can sit on the committee that makes a recommendation to the school board. The state requires that school districts have a policy in place to handle such challenges.
A portion of the policy dealing with the review committee states,
“Upon receipt of the information, the Principal may after advising the Assistant Superintendent of Teaching and Learning of the complaint, and upon the Assistant Superintendent’s approval, appoint a review committee which may consist of one (1) or more instructional staff members including Media Specialist, District Official, Curriculum Member, Principal, and Teacher; one (1) or more lay persons knowledgeable in the area. Committee will include a Community Member.”
Mark Johnson cautioned that there is legislation pending that would require a parent of a child in the school to sit on the committee, so they might want to consider adding that to the proposed policy. “I suggest we add it now rather than later… My interpretation when speaking to people in Tallahassee is that will pass.”
There was a lot of discussion on how to consider the pending legislation and related semantics. The school board seemed to settle on changing the last statement of the above paragraph to the “Committee will include a Community Member and a Parent with a student enrolled in the school district.” They also changed “…appoint a review committee which may consist of…” to “…appoint a review committee which will consist of… ”
The policy will go before the board for final approval at a future school board meeting.