Board Policies

This Policy is under review.

6300 - Selection and Review of Instructional and Media Materials

Last Updated Date:

Adoption Date: 10/05/2015

Revisions History:

A. Assignment of Responsibility:

The Board of Education reserves responsibility for the final acquisition of materials, but the responsibility for the selection of instructional materials is delegated to the Superintendent, with the assistance of the instructional and media staff, to establish procedures and regulations for the selection of instructional and media materials, reviewing their effectiveness, and dealing with complaints concerning instructional materials. The Superintendent will establish committees consisting of teachers and media staff to assist with these responsibilities.

B. Criteria for Instructional Materials:

The selection of instructional materials shall be made in accordance with Board of Education policies, legal requirements, and reflect the following philosophy:

1. To provide materials that will stimulate growth in factual knowledge, practical skills, literary appreciation, aesthetic values, and ethical standards.

2. To provide a background of information which will enable students to make intelligent judgments in their daily life.

3. To provide materials that will enrich and support the curriculum, taking into consideration the varied interest, abilities, and maturity levels of the students served.

4. To provide materials on opposing sides of controversial issues so that young citizens may develop, under guidance, the practice of critical thinking and analysis.

5. To provide materials representative of the many religious, ethnic, and cultural groups and their contributions to our American heritage.

6. To place principle above personal opinion and reason above prejudices in the selection of materials of the highest quality in order to assure a comprehensive collection appropriate for the instructional materials.

C. Criteria for Media Materials:

The selection of media materials shall be made in accordance with Board of Education policies, legal requirements, and with the Library Bill of Rights of the American Library Association, which Bill of Rights has been accepted by the American Association of School Librarians reflect the following philosophy:

To provide a comprehensive collection of instructional materials selected in compliance with basic, written selection principles, and to provide maximum accessibility to these materials.

To provide materials that will support the curriculum, taking into consideration the individual's needs, and the varied interest, ability, socio-economic backgrounds, and maturity levels of the students served.

To provide materials for teachers and students that will encourage growth in knowledge, and that will develop literary, cultural and aesthetic appreciation, and ethical standards.

To provide materials which reflect the ideas and beliefs of religious, social, political, historical, and ethnic groups and their contribution to the American World Heritage and Culture, thereby enabling students to develop an intellectual integrity in forming judgments.

To provide a written statement, approved by the local Boards of Education of the procedures for meeting the challenge of censorship of materials in school library media centers.

To provide qualified professional personnel to serve teachers and students.

D. Procedures for Reconsideration of Materials:

Occasional objections to some materials may be voiced despite the care taken in selection and qualification of the personnel selecting materials. The following procedures apply equally to all complaints whether they be from students, parents, school personnel or district patrons.

1. Complaints should be presented to the Principal of the school where the material is used. In the event the person with the concern does not wish to make a formal complaint, the concern may be expressed to the Principal at the school at which the material was received. The Principal shall submit informal concerns to the Superintendent for the Superintendent’s consideration.
2. Formal complaints about instructional materials must be presented in writing. The complainant shall be required to submit a written complaint setting forth: complainant’s identity, material challenged, detailed statement of reason(s) for challenging the material, action the complainant is requesting, and such other information as the Principal may reasonably request.
3. When a formal written complaint is completed and returned to the principal, the principal will discuss the issue and the procedures to be followed in resolving the issues with the person filing the complaint. The principal with whom the complaint was filed shall notify the other school administrators and also advise those faculty members who may use the instructional material, or the media staff in the case of media material, that a complaint has been filed. The school administrators shall decide whether to appoint a building-level review committee or a district-level review committee to study the complaint. The principals will convene building-level review committees. These building-level committees shall consist of five or more committee members composed of staff and community patrons. The superintendent of schools or his designee will convene district-level review committees. These district-level committees shall consist of five or more members composed of staff and community patrons.
4. The review committees shall consider district philosophy, the professional judgment of teachers, reviews of the material by other competent authorities, compatibility with the school district's adopted curriculum, the teacher’s stated goals, as well as the views of the complainant. The review committee's recommendation and all accompanying rationale shall be forwarded to the board of education for its review and final decision. The school board's decision may be to remove the material in question from district use, to modify the material for continued uses, or to reject the complaint and continue to use the material.
5. Any materials identified in a complaint may remain in use pending its review and its disposition by the board of education. Principals may, upon written request of parent(s), excuse students from using the material, or may direct teachers to use suitable substitutes, and in the case of challenged media material the Principal may place the material on a reserve shelf where it may be checked out by students only with written parent permission. However, the school shall reserve the right to require students to use material or to engage in activities which are a part of regular and/or required curricular activities.
6. Where the same or essentially the same materials have been the subject of a challenge which has been decided by the board, and another complaint is made against the material by either the same or a different person, the complaint shall be considered by the Superintendent, who may deny the complaint without following the review procedure. In considering the complaint, the Superintendent shall consider whether the complaint raises any substantially different issue than that previously decided by the board.

Policy References: