KLB: Public Complaints About the Material or Instructional Materials

Classification: 
K: School-Community Relations
Code: 
KLB

NoteThis is Part 2 of the Board's policy statement on the selection of learning resources, adopted 1978 April 17, and revised 1987 November 16.  Part 1 is filed under code IIA, Instructional Materials. A printed booklet containing the complete policy is available from District Learning Services.

PART 2: Dealing with Challenged Materials

Statement of Policy

Any resident or employee of the school district may formally challenge learning resources used in the district's educational program on the basis of appropriateness. This procedure is for the purpose of considering the opinions of those persons in the schools and the community who are not directly involved in the selection process.

Request for Informal Reconsideration

  • The school receiving a complaint regarding a learning resource shall try to resolve the issue informally.
  • The principal or other appropriate staff shall explain to the questioner the school's selection procedure, criteria, and qualifications of those persons selecting the resource.
  • The principal or other appropriate staff shall explain the particular place the questioned resource occupies in the education program, its intended educational usefulness, and additional information regarding its use, or refer the party to someone who can identify and explain the use of the resource.
  • If the questioner wishes to file a formal challenge, a copy of the district Selection of Learning Resources policy and a Request for Reconsideration of Learning Resources form shall be provided to the party concerned.

Request for Formal Reconsideration

Procedures

  • Each school will keep on hand and make available Request for Reconsideration of Learning Resources forms. All formal objections to learning resources must be made on these forms.
  • The Request for Reconsideration of Learning Resources form shall be signed by the questioner and filed with the principal if the resource is in a school or with the Associate Superintendent - District Learning Services if the resource is in a district-based collection.
  • The Associate Superintendent - Area and the Associate Superintendent - District Learning Services shall be informed by the principal of the formal complaint received.
  • The request for reconsideration of materials in school-based or district-based collections shall be referred to a reconsideration committee at the school or district level for re-evaluation of the resource.
  • The reconsideration committee may choose to consult district support staff and/or community persons with related professional knowledge.
  • The reconsideration committee shall review the challenged resource and judge whether it conforms to the principles of selection outlined in the district's Selection of Learning Resources policy.

Resolution

The reconsideration committee shall proceed within these guidelines to:

  •  
    • examine the challenged resource;
    • consider written submissions by community members in a session that includes an opportunity for committee members to question presenters;
    • determine professional acceptance by reading critical reviews of the resources;
    • weigh values and faults and form opinions based;
    • discuss the challenged resource;
    • discuss the challenged item with the individual questioner when appropriate;
    • determine a final recommendation in camera;
    • prepare a written report that will include the procedures followed, the minutes of meetings, and the rationale for the decision made by the committee.

 

  • The decision and rationale shall be discussed with the individual questioner and appropriate staff if requested.
  • For school-based collections, the written report shall be retained by the school principal, with copies forwarded to the Associate superintendent - Area and the Associate Superintendent - District Learning Services.
  • For district-based collections, the written report shall be retained by the Associate Superintendent - District Learning Services.
  • In both cases, a minority report may also be filed.
  • The decision of the respective reconsideration committees is binding on the individual school or for the district-based collection.
  • Notwithstanding any procedure outlined in this policy, the questioner shall have the right to appeal any decision of the reconsideration committee under Section 11 of the School Act.

Guiding Principles

Any resident or employee of the school district may raise objection to learning resources used in a school's educational program despite the fact that the individuals selecting such resources were duly qualified to make the selection, followed the proper procedure, and observed the criteria for selecting learning resources.

The principal should review the selection and objection rules with the teaching staff at least annually. The staff should be reminded that the right to object to learning resources is one granted by policies enacted by the Board.

No parent has the right to determine reading, viewing, or listening matter for students other than his/her own children.

Although it is the learning resources that are challenged, the principles of the freedom to read/listen/view must be defended as well.

Access to challenged material shall not be restricted during the reconsideration process.

The major criterion for the final decision is the appropriateness of the material for its intended educational use.

A decision to sustain a challenge shall not necessarily be interpreted as a judgement of irresponsibility on the part of the professionals involved in the original selection and/or use of the material.

DMT Responsibility: AS-DLS

 

Cross References: 
IIA: Instructional Materials KI: Section 11 Appeals, and subcodes
Adopted Date: 
Friday April 14, 1978
Revision Date: 
Nov 1987
Aug 1990
Sep 1994
Jan 1999
Apr 2010