Excerpt from The Times Free Press
By Emily Crisman
In Policy 4.402, Selection of Instructional Materials (Other than Textbooks) — which states that “particular attention will be paid to addressing the suitability of instructional materials that include content which might be considered sensitive to parents or students” — the revised policy draft replaces “sensitive” with “offensive to community standards.”
In the revised policy the “criteria for selection” of materials is changed to “criteria for review.” It adds to the criteria the consideration of “the extent to which the content may be considered offensive to community standards on the basis of profane language, graphic depictions of violence or sex, etc.”
In Policy 4.403, Reconsideration of Instructional Materials and Textbooks, a statement in support of the principles of intellectual freedom expressed in the “Library Bill of Rights” of the American Library Association is removed in the policy draft.
The revised policy draft would also prohibit anyone from addressing the board about the content of any book or other instructional material without first following the procedure outlined in the policy.
“I’m not saying it’s wrong to have concerns about what your child is privy to or want transparency, because I don’t know a single parent who doesn’t care about what their children have access to,” said Angela Favaloro, who served on the book review committee. “We just have different ideas of what narratives and storytelling are for and their overall value.”
Once the revised policy has been reviewed by the school board’s policy committee, it will come back before the board for discussion and a vote, and a second vote is required for a policy change.