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  • Writer's pictureKOFEE Blogger

There is no need to ban books

The role of a school director is not to make decisions on specific books or censor content and material that has been chosen by professional educators. Rather, we have policies and processes in place for curriculum and content review and opting-out. Existing policies are in place for parents to opt out their own children when they have a concern, and to request reviews of resource materials that they find concerning.

The Kutztown Area School District has policies and procedures in place to provide transparency and allow parents/guardians to review instructional materials. If materials are deemed to be in conflict with religious beliefs or present reasonable conflict, the student may be exempt from that specific instruction and given replacement educational materials. There is, therefore, no need to remove materials from the entire school or program to meet the needs of a minority of students. Concerned families can safeguard their own children as they see fit.

Links to and summaries of the policies are provided here for your review:

Policy 105.1 Review of Instructional Materials by Parents/Guardians and Students

Policy 105.2 Exemption from instruction

Policy 105.1 and 105.2 Provide an avenue for parents/guardians and students to review curriculum and materials. A written request to the building principal starts the process. The district then responds by designating a date/time for review of the material.

Policy 105.2 ensures the rights of parents/guardians to have their children excused from instruction that conflicts with their religious beliefs or presents reasonable conflict. The policy outlines the logistical details of how the exempted student will avoid the exempted materials and still achieve the academic standards required.

Policy 119 Current Events

Policy 119.1 Controversial Issues

Policy 119 and 119.1 consider the discussion of current events in schools. The policy indicates that discussions of current events shall include exploration of all sides of an issue and shall educate students in the formulation and evaluation of positions and opinions. The policy provides guidance in that discussions of current events shall not persuade students to a particular point of view and shall be balanced and open-minded. In addition, the topic shall be discussed in an age-appropriate manner.

The Objection of Instructional Materials form allows individuals to invoke a process for removal of materials or a topic. Initially, the process is informal, but can move to a formal process if needed. The formal process involves the convening of a committee by the superintendent. The committee then meets to discuss the objections of the material and provides a written report with a recommendation. This process involves input from a variety of stakeholders, including members of the community.

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