In light of the events during the Oct 26, 2021 School Committee meeting, it is good to refresh this existing policy for public awareness:
IIAE - Public Complaints About Instructional Materials
The School Committee recognizes the right of students to free access to many different types of literature. The Committee also recognizes the right of teachers and administrators to select books and other materials in accordance with the current trends in education and to make them available through the schools.Therefore, books and other reading matter will be chosen for value of interest and enlightenment of all students in the community. A book will not be excluded because of the race, gender orientation, nationality, political, or religious values of the writer or of its style and language. Every effort will be made to provide materials that present all points of view concerning the international, national, and local problems and issues of our times. Books and other reading matter of sound factual authority will not be prescribed or removed from library shelves or classrooms because of partisan doctrinal approval or disapproval.Censorship of books will be challenged in order to maintain the school's responsibility to provide information and enlightenment. Accordingly, the School Committee will deal with censorship of books or other materials as follows:Challenge of instructional materials used or proposed for use in the district will include the author, title, publisher, page number, and other pertinent information of each item to which objection is being made. This information will include the reasons for the objections stated in sufficient detail and logical sequence. It is the responsibility of the complainant to have reviewed the entire contents of the instructional material and the signature of complainant will attest to this fact. Challenges of instructional material will neither be deemed complete nor be considered by the Committee until all the above information has been furnished.Challenge Committee:• A challenge committee will be convened to review challenges as they occur.
The committee will consist of not more than nine members which may include:
• two administrators (designated by the Superintendent);• three teachers (in subject matter field);• no more than three parent/patrons who serve on the PCC and SchoolImprovement Council• one School Committee memberThe committee chairperson will be appointed by the Superintendent; will set committee meeting dates, time, place, and will be at appropriate meetings when committee recommendations are to be considered.
The challenge committee will evaluate the questioned material and review the challenge. The committee may meet with both adoption requestor and challenger. In addition, the committee may request information from those who have facts pertinent to the challenge. When the committee deliberations are completed, the committee will forward its report in writing to the Superintendent. The report will include one or more of the following recommendations:• adoption;• no adoption;• retention on adopted list;• removal from adopted list; or• prescribed usage - such as determined by nature of the instructional material and its unique application to the learning situation.The Superintendent will review the report and render the decision in writing to the complainant within five days of receiving the challenge committee report.The decision of the Superintendent will represent the final decision of the school district.
CROSS REF.: IIAC, IJ
Reviewed, revised 5/9/16
Shared from the Franklin Public Schools page
Tip of hat to State Rep Jeff Roy for raising this key point in a Facebook discussion thread.