With the book burners and those opposed preparing to clash tonight at the Brookings School Board meeting, the new school Superintendent, Dr. Summer Schultz, has sent out an e-mail district letting parents know that the district is not quite ready to talk about it tonight. But, if you want to stop your child from reading something that offends your sensibilities, knock yourself out:
Dear Brookings School District Parents and Guardians,
This note intends to provide information surrounding an issue of interest to many in our school community. As with most districts, BSD reviews policies on a schedule, but we also work to ensure policies with present-day interest are expedited. Some policies need to be considered out of rotation for many reasons, such as updated legislation or to ensure handbooks and protocols reflect the will of the current school board.
Across the county, schools are being asked to reconsider books available in their libraries. Brookings School District is no different; therefore, the policies related to these requests, last reviewed in 2013, must be revisited. Although considerable time has been given, the district is unprepared to present a first draft for public viewing at tonight’s Board of Education meeting.
I assure you we are providing diligence to this issue, but with all policies, we want to ensure the first draft mirrors our intentions. This issue can produce strong opinions, and I ask that you offer patience as we work through the policy review process. It’s important to clarify that this process was not initiated to “ban books.” Instead, we are working to ensure that our policies are appropriate for the current educational climate and our libraries continue to be a place where students have voluntary access to a diverse range of literature and are a foundation of knowledge, understanding, and cultural enrichment.
Moving forward, all citizen requests to challenge library materials will be received, noted, and on hold until our updated policy is in place. Parents can still utilize the “Parent Restriction” form that is not attached to a policy but is a way for parents to restrict material for their child by working directly with the building principal and librarian.
Thank you for your continued support of the Brookings School District and all the staff that make this a great place to learn!
The Superintendent has plopped the issue back in the laps of parents for the time being while they figure it out, if they want to restrict the materials their child has access to. And that’s where the issue should be.