Process to Challenge School Books

The process to challenge explicit books in Spotsylvania County schools is bureaucratic, vague, condescending, and poorly worded. This is how one would setup a policy to avoid solving a problem. This is exactly why the teachers, librarians, administrators that spoke at the November 15th board meeting kept advocating to go thru a “process” that has no definite timetable or specific resolution process. At the bottom of this article is a screenshot of the actual policy on the school board website. Let’s dig into this policy.

“Despite the qualifications and expertise of persons involved….”: This statement is condescending towards parents. It does not take much expertise to recognize sexually explicit material. If educators, administrators, and librarians allow sexually explicit material to enter the school library, are they really experts ? Do they really have good judgement ?

The standards and procedure for review shall be consistently applied in recognition of the respective rights and responsibilities of all concerned.“. The standards and procedure for review are clearly not written anywhere. They arent even in the very policy that is supposed to define this. The vagueness in the wording leaves much to subjectivity and interpretation. Again, if you want to avoid solving the problem, you keep the policy vague without any timetables to address the problem.

“Challenges which are not resolved at the building level may be submitted to the superintendent or superintendent’s designee. The decision of the superintendent may be appealed to the School Board….”: How long does this take? The process requires one to go thru one bureaucratic entity to another bureaucratic entity for resolution? If presented with actual specific sexually explicit material, why does it take anymore than 5 minutes to resolve?

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