How to Submit a Citizen's Request for Reconsideration of Educational Media
Procedure for Reconsideration of Educational Media
School Board Policy IJ-P governs the selection of materials for library media centers.
Despite the care taken by qualified library media specialists to select engaging and appropriate materials for student and teacher use, individuals occasionally may object to library materials. According to the American Library Association's "Freedom to Read", the professional responsibility to provide relevant resources must be considered as well as the reconsideration of the materials.
An individual who wishes to state a concern for a specific item may address his concern to the Library Media Specialist or Principal of the child's school.
If the individual desires to continue the procedure, the media specialist will explain the process for initiating a formal request for reconsideration of material. Upon submission of the Citizen's Request for Reconsideration of Educational Media form, the library media specialist will contact the complainant within 48 business hours to further explain the formal process of reconsideration of the media in question.
No duly selected material whose appropriateness is challenged will be removed from library shelves during the reconsideration process which is outlined below. However, the child (children) of the parents making the complaint may be denied access to challenged materials if desired by the complainant.
Within 30 days, a committee consisting of the Principal (or designee), a library media specialist(s), an instructional supervisor, specialist, or coach, a reading specialist, two teachers, two parents, and two students (high school ONLY), as appropriate, will:
- Read and examine materials referred to the committee.
- Examine general acceptance of the materials by reading reviews and selection aids.
- Weigh values and faults against each other and form opinions based on the material as a whole rather than passages or illustrations pulled out of context.
- Meet and discuss the appropriateness of the material as it pertains to the reason stated by the complainant and complete the Reconsideration of Materials Guidelines for Committee Members form within 30 days from receipt of the Citizen's Request for Reconsideration of Educational Media form.
- The Reconsideration of Materials Guidelines for Committee Members form may contain recommendations as follows:
- remove material from collection,
- retain material with restrictions,
- keep material with no restrictions.
If the complainant wishes to appeal the school committee's decision, the complaint is referred to the Supervisor of Library Media Services who will convene the Division Evaluation Committee.
A division evaluating committee, composed of the Chief Academic Officer of Teaching and Learning, and/or the Executive Director of Curriculum and Development, the Supervisor of Library Media Services, parents and students will convene to review the selected material. The Youth Development will select parents and students to serve on this committee.
- The Division Evaluation Committee will follow the same procedures used by the school media committee. The findings of the Division Evaluation Committee will be submitted to the Superintendent of Newport News Public Schools.
- The Superintendent will share the committee findings with the School Board.
- The School Board will act to retain, modify or remove the material in question.
- Notification of action taken will be sent in writing to the complainant by the Superintendent.
If a principal, senior administration, or school board member files a complaint regarding instructional materials, the complaint shall be made directly to the Supervisor of Library Media Services. The procedures for review will remain the same, except the Supervisor of Library Media Services will refer the concern to the Division Evaluation Committee. The media committee in such a case will be co-chaired by the Supervisor of Media Services and the Executive Director of Curriculum. All appeal procedures will remain the same.