Brookings School District pushes back on book ban, revising policy… but not quite ready to discuss tonight

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!

Dr. Schultz

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.

34 thoughts on “Brookings School District pushes back on book ban, revising policy… but not quite ready to discuss tonight”

  1. Perhaps a solution is for parents to sign a blanket letter prohibiting their children from reading “any” school library books until the school can satisfy the parents that the books are not objectionable to them. Parents need to be primary in fulfilling the needs of their children.

    1. Then be a parent and talk to your child about what they are reading. No one else should tell my children what to read.

    1. From the policy they will review:

      “We believe that the School Board is responsible to the people and therefore must reflect the
      opinion of the community.”

      They haven’t changed that yet, and they likely won’t, so feel free to calm down for now.

        1. All the more reason to state it. We shouldn’t watch our country to devolve into Christo-fascism just like the Muslim ideology emboldened the taliban. I’ll police my own children. There isn’t anything in a library today than is any more controversial than when we were in school. I want my kids to read To Kill A Mockingbird. I want them to read the classics that a bunch of prudes are trying to ban because of their own insecurities.

    2. Not the great unwashed as Washington and Jefferson thought it. Sometimes you have to protect the people from their own stupidity. I love how all of you will defend the 2nd Amendment so vehemently but ignore the 1st at your own convenience. Just like a gun, a book can’t hurt anyone. It is just an object.

    1. What a silly statement! Children, just as adults, are certainly impacted by the books that they read.

      1. Terry is right! I am not sure why it is silly! Are you afraid of reading a book and learning you are wrong. That is the only way books are dangerous.

        1. I was being kind when I used the word silly. To deny that books influence people is actually stupid, and apparently there are many stupid people in this nation, including the two people making that argument. I guarantee that I have read more books than 99% of the people who read this blog, including the person who wrote the comment above, and yes, some of them have made me change my opinions. All of the honest psychologists recognize that pornography changes people’s brains, but you go ahead and stick to your tropes because they do not actually require any thoughts.

        2. OK, books aren’t dangerous. If you really believe that, then let’s put books like say, The Anarchist’s Cookbook into school libraries.

  2. twenty two years, eleven hours and 17 minutes ago from this moment, the first plane hit the world trade center in nyc. here’s hoping we all made time to remember the victims and veterans. thanks.

  3. I remember as a kid that there were areas of the libraries I wasn’t allowed in and certain books I couldn’t check out. In this modern era you cannot prevent children from accessing information on the world wide web so it becomes more relevant for parental engagement to educate and protect their children as much as possible. Parents and government entities like school boards would do well to keep in mind the phrase, “check yourself”.

    I remember 22 years ago as 10 of us in uniform sat in a staff meeting and were interrupted by another Soldier. We turned on the TV and sat and watched in horror and shock. I remember thinking “who would dare attack us?!” and “everything I have trained for in my career is about to become very real”. Never forget.

    1. Why were you not allowed to go to those areas of the library? Did your parents tell you? Parents need to be vigilant and engage your children everyday.

      Agreed! Never forget those that died on 9/11 and those that died serving their country in Afghanistan and Iraq!

    1. Sorry, you’ll need to edit it to remove all of the objectionable human sacrifices, sex, mass genocide, and racism all from the Old Testament first though. After all, think of the children!

        1. An uninformed and silly ad hominem straight from the keyboard of someone who has clearly never read his Book of Joshua or Judges.

  4. So you’re okay with pornographic materials being provided to minors.


    Your time is about done, Pat.

    1. Not everything you dislike is porno, you goof. And if you dont want your kids inappropriate stuff, be a good parent and monitor them. Unless YOU support porn being provided to minors.

      You mever mattered, so I dont need to make veiled threats.

    2. Banning art books with photos of naked statues and paintings from history that are masterpieces? Really?

    1. There is a line that can be drawn between banning a book for all readers and limiting access to certain books to age-appropriate readers. This is a basic distinction the Left has been eager to ignore in favor of an overly simplistic narrative about book banning.

      This article from Slate includes explicit images from a sex-education book that specifically identifies itself as suitable for ages 10 and up which would likely mean it would be available to some elementary school students:

  5. my Massachusetts daughter in law is a liberal Democrat, holds a doctorate in education from Harvard, and is a professor of early childhood literacy.
    When I asked her about a book, “The Bluest Eye,” that I had not read, but had heard it was being used in middle school classrooms, she was appalled.
    She was familiar with it, and declared it was NOT suitable for children that young.

    1. So she doesnt let her kids read it, or she demands that it, along with a bunch of other books, be banned by the government to do her parenting for her?

      1. At the time of the conversation, it had been in the news that the book had been selected by a middle school teacher (in Dell Rapids, or somewhere in that area, as I recall) for her entire class to read, and Jim Stalzer told me that when asked about the choice, the teacher replied that she had not read it and didn’t know what was in it. That is my recollection of the controversy: that it wasn’t a matter of one kid checking out one copy, it was a classroom assignment, and a teacher assigning a book she had never read.

        It is incidents like this that make people question what is going on in the schools.

        I worry about the future of education when my daughter-in-law, whose job it is to educate future teachers, tells me about some of her own students. Or when she doesn’t say anything, just puts her phone down, does a face palm, and says she needs to go outside for a walk.

  6. I don’t believe that the 4,000 year old religious teachings of a primitive, goat herding Hebrew prophet in a remote corner of the Babylonian Empire should have anything to do with the decision making of the Brookings School Board in 2023. To do so, is to be governed by Myth and Superstition.

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