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PSRC Censorship Policy

Policy Code: 3200 Selection of Textbooks and Supplementary Materials

In order to help fulfill the educational goals and objectives of the school system, the board strives to provide textbooks and supplementary materials that will enrich and support the curriculum while improving literacy and technological skills. Materials also should be representative of the rich diversity of our nation and appropriate for the maturity levels and abilities of the students.

A. SELECTION OF TEXTBOOKS

The superintendent shall appoint a textbook committee to study the state-approved texts. The committee should include the curriculum coordinators and other appropriate persons from the central office instructional staff, teachers from each school involved, principals, board members and parents, as may be appropriate. The textbook committee shall provide for the evaluation of texts and shall ensure the development of (1) a timeline and procedures for evaluation of texts by the individual schools; (2) input by each of the curriculum coordinators; and (3) a schedule for workshop sessions of the textbook committee for in-depth study using a standardized written evaluation form. The textbook committee shall consider all available information and rank the books considered. The rankings should be given to the superintendent or designee for approval.

State-approved textbooks must be used unless the board approves alternative materials. The textbook committee or a school through its school improvement plan may submit a request for the use of alternative materials. The request should identify how the committee or school has ensured that the curriculum will continue to be aligned with the standard course of study and to meet the educational goals of the board.

B. SELECTION OF SUPPLEMENTARY MATERIALS

1. Objectives for Selection of Supplementary Materials

The procurement of materials must be accomplished in accordance with law, including the First Amendment of the United States Constitution; board educational goals; board purchasing and accounting policies; and established selection guidelines, including the Library Bill of Rights of the American Library Association. The objectives for the selection of supplementary materials are as follows:

a. to provide materials that will enrich and support the curriculum, taking into consideration the individual needs and varied interests, abilities, socio-economic backgrounds, and maturity levels of the pupils served;

b. to provide materials that will stimulate growth in factual knowledge, literary appreciation, aesthetic values and ethical standards;

c. to provide a background of information that will enable students to make intelligent judgments;

d. to provide materials representing various points of view so that students as young citizens may develop, under guidance, the skills of critical thinking and critical analysis;

e. to provide material representative of the many religious, ethnic and cultural groups in our nation and the contributions of these groups to our American heritage; and

f. to place principle above personal opinion and reason above prejudice in the selection of material of the highest quality in order to ensure a comprehensive collection appropriate for the users of the media center.

2. Process for Selecting Supplementary Materials

The selection of supplemental learning materials for school use will be made primarily at the school level with the involvement of a school materials advisory committee. The principal shall appoint half of the committee members and appoint the chairperson. The certified staff at the school shall select the other half of the committee members. The committee will include media specialists, teachers and instructional support personnel representing various subject areas and grade levels, and parents. Students also should be involved when feasible. The committee is responsible to the principal for budgeting, previewing, evaluating, selecting and organizing supplemental instructional materials in the school for classroom and media center use.

The selection process used by the committee will include: (1) an evaluation of the existing collection; (2) an assessment of the available resource and curriculum needs of the school; and (3) an examination of proposed materials. When examining proposed materials, the committee should consider the following factors:

a. the material’s educational significance and the contribution the subject matter will make to the curriculum and to the interests of the students,

b. the contribution the material will make to the collection’s breadth and variety of viewpoints;

c. reviews of the material found in standard selection sources and reputable, unbiased professionally prepared selection aids,

d. recommendations of school personnel and students from all relevant departments and grade levels;

e. the reputation and significance of the material’s author, producer and publisher;

f. the material’s accuracy, clarity, appropriateness, timeliness, permanence and degree of potential user appeal;

g. the material’s artistic, literary and physical quality and format; and

h. the price of the material weighed against its value and/or the need for it.

3. Materials Brought in by Teachers

Principals shall establish rules concerning what materials may be brought in by teachers without review. Principals are encouraged to involve teachers in establishing these rules.

C. REMOVAL OF OUTDATED SUPPLEMENTARY MATERIALS

To ensure that the supplementary media collection remains relevant, the media specialist shall review materials routinely to determine if any material is obsolete, outdated or irrelevant. The school materials advisory committee should remove materials no longer appropriate and replace lost and worn materials still of educational value. The superintendent may establish regulations that provide additional standards for removing supplementary materials to meet the educational needs of the school system. Requests by parents to remove supplementary media materials due to an objection to the materials will be reviewed pursuant to policy 3210, Parental Inspection of and Objection to Instructional Materials.

D. ACCEPTANCE OF GIFT MATERIALS

Supplementary materials offered as a gift will be reviewed pursuant to the criteria outlined in this policy; policy 8220, Gifts and Bequests; and any regulations established by the superintendent. Gift material may be accepted or rejected by the board based upon such criteria.

E. CHALLENGES TO TEXTBOOKS AND OTHER INSTRUCTIONAL MATERIALS

Challenges to materials will be addressed pursuant to policy 3210, Parental Inspection of and Objection to Instructional Materials.

Legal References: U.S. Const. amend. I; N.C. Const. art. I, §14; G.S. 115C-45, -47, -81, -98, -101; Impact: Guidelines for North Carolina Media and Technology Programs, North Carolina Department of Instruction (2005); The Library Bill of Rights, The American Library Association (1996)

Cross References: Goals and Objectives of the Educational Program (policy 3000), Parental Inspection of and Objection to Instruction Materials (policy 3210), School Improvement Plan (policy 3430), Gifts and Bequests (policy 8220)

Adopted: May 10, 2011