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KEC Public Concerns/Complaints about Instructional Resources
Title Public Concerns/Complaints about Instructional Resources
Office/Custodian Education/Director of Culture & Services and Executive Director of
The Board has approved principles governing the selection of all instructional materials including library books and has established policies pertaining to the selection process. However, the Board wishes to amplify its principles on the selection of books and other materials that present controversial topics or that for other reasons might be challenged.
Material that is challenged usually belongs to one of the three basic categories: religion, ideology, or profanity/obscenity. Board policies regarding these areas shall be as follows:
1. Religion - Factual, unbiased material on all major religions has a place in school libraries.
2. Ideologies - Libraries should, with no thought toward swaying reader judgment, make available a balanced collection of primary and factual material on the level of their students on various ideologies or philosophies that exert or have exerted a strong force, either favorably or unfavorably, in government, current events, politics, education, and other phases of life.
3. Profanity/obscenity - Materials shall be subjected to a test of literary merit by media specialists and teachers, who will take into consideration the maturity of students and the standards of the community.
Criticism of a book or other materials used in the schools may be expected from time to time. In such instances:
1. The Board recognizes the right of an individual parent/guardian to request that his/her child not read a given book. When such a request is presented, the teacher and/or principal should resolve the situation, perhaps by arranging for use of alternative materials meeting essentially the same instructional purpose. This does not apply, however, to basic program texts and materials the Board has adopted.
2. The Board shall not permit any individual or group to exercise censorship over instructional materials and library collections, but recognizes that at times a re-evaluation of certain materials may be desirable. Should an individual or group ask to have any book or other material withdrawn from school use:
a. The person who objects to the book or other material shall be asked to complete and sign the Citizen’s Request for Reconsideration of Instructional Materials form and submit to the building principal.
b. Following receipt of the formal complaint, the principal will investigate the request by consulting personnel involved and will provide a rationale for the use of the materials in question to the person or group requesting reconsideration within a period of five school days. The principal also will notify in writing the Zone Leader of the inquiry and response.
c. If the principal’s explanation does not result in a withdrawal of the request, the principal will appoint a chair and a committee with an odd number of members composed of:
1. Department chair/representative and/or library media specialist from the appropriate grade level from outside the building
2. Two teachers in the building from the appropriate grade level or subject matter area
3. Two teachers in the building from a different grade level or subject matter area
4. Students and/or representatives from the official school parent group may be included at the discretion of the principal. One to three committee members may be selected from this group to insure an odd number of members on the committee.
To be present at any or all committee meetings at their own discretion but without a vote are:
1. Teacher/library media specialist involved
2. Not more than two individuals or two group representatives requesting the reconsideration
3. Learning Services representative
4. Director of Culture and Service
5. Zone Leader
d. The re-evaluation shall be based on the points offered above as well as the principles governing the selection of all instructional materials. Additionally, the Board wishes to emphasize that:
1. Materials shall not be excluded because of the creator’s race or nationality or political or religious views.
2. The value of any book or other material shall be judged as a whole, taking into account the purpose of the material rather than individual, isolated expressions, or incidents in the work.
e. The committee will consider and act on the request for reconsideration of materials. A written copy of the committee’s decision will be provided to all parties involved within 60 calendar days from the signed date on the original Citizen’s Request Form.
f. Should the solution be unsatisfactory to the complainant, interested party may appeal the decision to the CEO. The CEO will have all information regarding the activities and decisions, which occurred prior to the appeal being reviewed. The CEO will then review the preceding decisions before announcing a decision. The CEO’s written decision will be transmitted to the Board and the complainant.
g. If the CEO’s decision is unsatisfactory to the complainant, the Board is the final appellate authority. During a special session the Board will review the CEO’s decision, the committee’s decision, and the rationale delivered by the principal in the context of the complainant’s objection to the instructional resources. The Board will deliver a decision following the special session.
3. At no time during the re-consideration process shall the material in question be withdrawn.
In summary, the Board assumes final responsibility for all books and instructional materials it makes available to students. It holds its professional staff accountable for their proper selection. It recognizes rights of individual parents/guardians with respect to controversial materials used by their own children. It will provide for the re-evaluation of materials in library collections upon formal request. On the other hand, students' right to learn and the freedom of teachers to teach shall be respected.
Adopted: July 21, 1983
Revised: January 6, 2000
Revised: July 12, 2005
Revised: March 21, 2007
Revised: March 11, 2010
Revised: August 11, 2016
Reviewed: September 12, 2019
IJ, Instructional Resources and Materials
IMB, Teaching about Controversial Issues and Use of Controversial Materials