So, you’ve found objectionable content in your child’s class-assigned book or the book she picked up from the media center. What should you do?
First of all, we at Carroll Values Education would always recommend reading and considering the work in its entirety. As long as books have been around, there have been “those sections” that everyone reads first. But now you’ve read the whole book and you still think it’s inappropriate for your child. What should you do next?
If the book is from a class, your first stop should always be the teacher. Your teacher may offer an alternate assignment. According to Dr. Pfaff, Director of Curriculum and Instructional Resources, “[I]f a parent has an issue with a selected text but doesn’t care to go through this process, the teacher can provide the student with an alternative. We don’t make any student read something that either they or their parent find offensive or inappropriate. “ If the book is from the media center, you should have a chat with the media specialist. But what if you’re still not satisfied?
The next step is a formal “Request for Reconsideration of Instructional Materials.” This form allows you to share your objections and will be used by the Reconsideration Committee.
What’s the Reconsideration Committee? It’s a standing committee appointed for two-year terms by the superintendent. Its purpose is to provide due process. Committee members are chosen to reflect a broad-based balance of levels, geographic regions and interests. There are twelve members, consisting of 2 school media specialists, 2 school-based administrators, 1 instructional supervisor, 1 teacher from the appropriate level, 3 parents and 3 high school students. The Supervisor of Media chairs the committee but does not vote.
The committee will meet with you and perhaps also the supervisor of the curriculum area involved, the principal of the school and the media specialist or teacher involved. Then the committee members will vote to retain the material, remove the material, or remove the material from a particular level (elementary, middle or high schools). This will occur within 30 days of the request for consideration being received.
If you are still not satisfied with the decision, you may appeal to the Superintendent within 10 days of receiving the committee’s written response. The Superintendent or designee will provide a written decision within 30 school days.
And finally, if the superintendent’s decision is unsatisfactory, you may appeal to the Board of Education within 30 days.
Once the process is complete, the title will not be reconsidered for three years.
Here are the titles that have been reconsidered in the past 13 years.
|Dec 2000||World War Won||Dav Pilkey||Retained at elementary|
|May 2001||Mad Magazine||Removed from all levels|
|Jan 2003||Whistle Me Home||Barbara Wersba||Removed from middle school retained at high school|
|Mar 2003||Adventures of Super Diaper Baby||Dav Pilkey||Retained in elementary collections|
|Sep 2003||Beet Fields||Gary Paulsen||Removed from middle school retained at high school|
|Feb 2004||The Rag and Bone Shop||Robert Cormier||Retained in middle and high collections|
|Oct 2004||Gossip Girl||C. VonZiegesar||Retained in high school collections|
|Feb 2005||Leaving Disneyland||Alexander Parsons||Removed from high school collections|
|Apr 2005||The Witches||Roald Dahl||Retained in elementary collections|
|May 2005||Born Too short: The Confessions of an Eighth Grade Basket Case||Dan Elish||Removed from all levels|
|May 2005||The Earth, My Butt and Other Big Round Things||Carolyn Mackler||High School Only|
|Oct 2005||Inside Out||Terry Trueman||Retained at all levels|
|Feb 2008||Red Ranger Came Calling||Berkeley Breathed||Retained in Elementary – Change from Picture Book to Fiction|
|Mar 2010||Brian’s Return||Gary Paulsen||Retained in Elementary|
|Feb 2011||Lies and Other Tall Tales||Nora Neale Hurston||Retained in Elementary|
|May 2012||Ask the Bones-Scary Stories from Around the World||Arielle North Olson,Howard Schwartz||Retained in Elementary|
|Aug 2013||The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-time Indian||Sherman Alexie||Remove from Middle – Retain in High School|
The CCPS document covering this process: http://www.carrollk12.org/Assets/file/LibraryMedia/Selection%20Document.pdf