Manatee County, Florida — Hot topic. Which books belong in school and which do not?
The topic swirled at a workshop at the Manatee County Board of Education on Friday.
School board members raised several issues, including the right of parents to request books under review and when the process would be lifted to the school board level.
As for the review process, the curriculum’s executive director said the changes will put more in the hands of individual schools.
“Originally we had a district meeting, but the school felt a little left out of the loop. , we contacted the school and the principal asked about their ability to work on their campus,” she explained.
The school district currently has 30 books pending review.
These books were submitted online by community members and then sent to the school’s media specialist for the first eye.
All media specialists are trained to spot themes and ideas deemed inappropriate by the state.
Chad Chorte, chairman of the heavy lift committee, appreciates it.
“I don’t think we can read 30 titles before the February conference and see if they’re good,” he said. You learn, you take courses, you say yes or no, I don’t know how to say ‘you did the training and I didn’t and I’m going to sit down’ say no here Please give me.”
Board member Gina Messenger voiced the concerns of teachers in the community.
“They have had a lot of training, so we have to respect our teachers. There are a lot of things that teachers put into their classrooms,” she said.
Board Vice Chair Cindy Spray highlighted concerns from some parents, but as it stands, parents sign consent forms to allow their children to check out books under review. can do.
“I think we need a committee to actually review some of these materials. It bothers me that I have a book that is being reviewed and the student can still check it.” she said.
The school district said a few percent of the books in the district were removed. According to the school district, all school libraries have already gone through a review process, leaving only books in classroom libraries.
“I think we’re building a mountain out of molehills. Less than 1% of book reviews are deemed inappropriate. I don’t think this is a district-wide problem. I don’t think so. I think I found one and it slipped in when my parents brought in 50 books,” he said.
On February 14, the school board will decide whether to adopt a chain of command for book reviews and approve recommendations for the 30 pending books.
Learn more about the review process here.