The Flawed Book Challenge Policy, Part 1

Policy IIA-R of the Spotsylvania County School division covers book challenges by parents. The book challenge policy has a 10-step process. There is a fundamental flaw with the entire 10 step process because there is no objective measurement by which one judges a book. The committee is nothing more than just a show. Let’s look at step 5 and step 6 in the process.

The ad hoc committee mentioned in step 5 is fundamentally flawed because it does not provide the parameters by which an individual can serve on the committee. To reduce the bias of the committee, an individual must be randomly chosen to represent a cross section of the community without regards to age, political affiliation, gender, etc. Furthermore, committee members must have objective metrics to judge a book.

The policy makes no effort to remove bias. The principal is responsible for setting up the committee. What is to prevent the principal from stacking a committee with individuals that will undermine the parent challenging the book? What is to prevent far left groups from telling their members to ask the principal to be on the committee? The political bias becomes clearly evident.

In step 6 of the process, there is no mention of an objective measurement. The policy reduces book challenges to subjectivity and feelings. A better way for the committee to function is to have objective measurements. Does the challenged book violate obscenity laws as defined in Virginia Code 18.2-391 and 18.2-374? Does the challenged book directly support the material taught in the classroom? If the challenged book cannot pass both litmus tests, then the school needs to donate the challenged book to a public library instead of remaining in a school library.

The IIA-R policy was last revised in 2019 when the left held a majority. This includes Braswell, Grampp, Meyer, Blaine, and of course the shameful one herself, Dawn Shelly. They approved a policy that catered to subjectivity instead of objectivity which in turn promotes obscene material entering school libraries.

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