Materials Selection and Challenged Materials
Policy and Procedure
Nelson County High School hereby declares it the policy of the SBDM to provide a wide range of instructional materials (print and non-print) on all levels of difficulty, with diversity of appeal and the presentation of different points of view for all students. The SBDM supports the principles of intellectual freedom inherent in the Constitution of the United States and expressed in the Library Bill of Rights of the American Library Association and the Student’s Right to Read statement of the National Council of Teachers of English. Further, this policy allows for review of allegedly inappropriate instructional material through established procedures.
Purpose of the Selection Policy
To provide a statement of philosophy and goals for the guidance of those involved in the procedures for the selection.
To define the role of those who share in the responsibility for the selection of the materials.
To outline the procedures for the application of the criteria.
To set forth the criteria for selection, evaluation, and reconsideration of materials.
To provide a procedure for the consideration of objections to the use of particular materials.
To clarify the philosophy and procedures outlined in the materials selection policy for the community.
Responsibility of Selection
The legal responsibility of all instructional materials is vested in the Nelson County High School Site-Based Decision-Making Council. The SBDM delegates the responsibility for the selection of instructional materials to school administrators and the media specialists of the school.
Media Center Materials
The school media specialists in consultation with the administrators have been charged with the responsibilities of identifying, ordering and organizing materials which should implement, enrich, and support the educational program of the school and meet the needs, interests, goals, concerns, and abilities of the individual student.
For the purpose of this policy “instructional materials” are defined as any material (print and non-print) used in the classroom to support an educational objective. The classroom teacher is responsible for the selection of instructional materials used in their specific courses.
Textbook materials (print and non-print) used in Nelson County Public schools are selected, through a committee process. The committee includes the principal and the involved department head and department members.
Formats of Instructional Materials
Instructional materials include, but are not limited to the following:
Print – Books, newspapers, periodicals, paperbacks, brochures, government documents.
Non-print – Filmstrips, records, cassettes, art prints/slides, educational games/toys, video, laser disks, photographs, original artwork.
Electronic – CD-ROM, On-line services, Internet
Criteria for Selection
Materials selected for use in the Nelson County High School should be selected for their strengths rather than rejected for their weaknesses. The following guidelines will be considered in the selection process:
Materials should support and be consistent with district goals and curricular objectives. Needs of the individual school based on knowledge of the curriculum and of the curriculum and of the existing collection are given first consideration.
Materials should meet high standards of quality in factual context and presentation.
Context and content will be evaluated according to the following:
a. Organization and presentation of content
b. High degree of readability and/or comprehensibility for potential readers
c. High degree of potential user appeal
d. High artistic quality and/or literary style and/or social value
e. Quality format
Materials should foster respect for all people, especially minority and ethnic groups, and should represent our pluralistic society.
Materials should be designed to help students gain an awareness and understanding of the contributions made to our civilization by all persons, including women and minority and ethnic groups.
Materials should clarify the multiple historical and contemporary forces with their economic, political and religious dimensions which have operated to the advantage of all persons, including women, and minority and ethnic groups. (In special cases, materials containing biased or slanted perspectives may be selected to meet certain specific curricular objectives.)
Materials concerned with racial, religious, sexual or ethnic differences should be free from stereotype, caricature, and other characteristics likely to misrepresent, offend or defame particular segments of the population.
Materials concerning religion should be free from intention to indoctrinate beliefs of any one faith, or to belittle any other.
Materials should be designed to motivate students and staff to examine their own attitudes and behaviors to comprehend their own duties, responsibilities, rights and privileges as participating citizens in a pluralistic, non-sexist society.
Materials treating controversial issues should be selected on the basis of their ability to provide students a balanced perspective concerning current events, education, government, history, politics, or any other phase of life.
Procedure for Selection
Library Media Center Materials
The media specialist/s will evaluate the school’s existing materials collection and curriculum needs and will consult reputable, professionally prepared aids and other appropriate sources in selecting materials for the media center.
The media specialist/s will solicit recommendations for purchase from faculty and students.
Gift materials shall be accepted or rejected on the basis of the criteria for selection. The media specialist/s will reject, return, or discard gifts that are unsuitable for school use.
The media specialist should supervise the removal of materials no longer appropriate and the replacement of lost and worn material which are still of educational value.
Instructional Materials in the Individual Classroom
Teachers are responsible for the selection of instructional materials in their individual classes. Selection implies that a teacher is free to choose materials depending upon the purpose to be achieved and the student/s or course in question.
Textbook materials used in the Nelson County Public School system are selected through a committee process, from approved adoption lists in accordance with Kentucky Revised Statutes and regulations of the state board for elementary and secondary schools.
Reevaluation of Materials Selection Policy
It is suggested that this procedure be reevaluated at least every five years from the date of adoption or as needed determined by the SBDM with approval from the principal of the school.
Review and Reconsideration of Instructional Materials
The review and reevaluation of instructional materials, including textbooks, supplementary materials, and library print and non-print media, on the basis of citizens’ concerns, will be conducted in response to a properly filed written request under procedures set forth in this document. Forms for such requests are kept on hand in the school’s front office and will be made available to any resident of the school district, employee of the district, or parent/guardian of an enrolled child. Any resident, employee of the school district, or parent/guardian of an enrolled child may formally or informally challenge instructional materials used in the school’s educational program on the basis of appropriateness.
Procedure for Reconsideration Request
A. Informal Reconsideration
The principal, school library media specialists, classroom teacher, or appointed designee, should explain to the complainant the school’s selection procedure, criteria, and qualifications of those persons selecting the materials. The principal, school library media specialist, classroom teacher, or appointed designee should explain the particular place the questioned material occupies in the educational program, its intended educational usefulness, and additional information regarding its use.
B. Formal Consideration
If the complainant wishes to file a formal challenge, the complainant must personally obtain a copy of the school’s “Request for Reconsideration of Instructional Materials” form which is kept on hand in the school’s front office.The form must be fully completed, signed, and dated by the complainant and filed with the secretary of the SBDM along with an SBDM agenda inclusion form. These forms are available in the front office. By filing both forms the Monday prior to a SBDM meeting the complainant agrees to present his/her objection at that SBDM meeting. If the complainant fails to show a new agenda inclusion form must be submitted by the complainant in order to continue the reconsideration process. No further action will be taken until this meeting takes place. The material in question will not be pulled from the instructional program during the reconsideration period for any reason.
Review of Challenged Materials
C. Guidelines for the Reconsideration Committee
The secretary of the SBDM will call the school’s Reconsideration Committee together within a reasonable period of time after receiving the formal complaint. The committee, appointed by the school’s SBDM council, will include a school library media specialist, two classroom teachers (one being the chair of the curriculum committee), a parent (not the complainant), a district level administrator, and a student (not the child of the complainant and with signed parental permission). At the first organized meeting the committee members will receive a copy of the challenged material. After the initial meeting, the committee will convene and prepare a written recommendation to the SBDM. The SBDM will notify the complainant in writing of the committee’s decision.
The following documents will be used as guidelines in selecting and reevaluating instructional materials at Nelson County High School:
Philosophy and Mission of NCHS Media Center
Library Media Goals
Goals of the NCHS Media Center
Clientele Served by NCPS
ALA’s Library Bill of Rights
Freedom to Read Statement
Free Access to Libraries by Minors
NCHS Acceptable Use Policy