Board re-evaluates Cabarrus County Schools’ library book policy

CABARRUS COUNTY, NC (WBTV) – Leading with County of Cabarrus Schools are considering changes to the district’s library book policy.

It comes after some parents sent a letter to district leaders concerned about the book removal process.

On Monday night, school board members, parents and teachers were at the district office to voice their concerns about changes to the policy during a board meeting.

The district has developed a guideline for selecting books for the library and classrooms.

As early as the spring, district leaders began establishing the process for handling complaints from parents who may find a book offensive.

First, a committee of staff, students and parents reviewed the material and made a recommendation to the board on whether the material should be kept or removed.

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During Monday night’s meeting, the district attorney introduced a new proposed policy that would leave the re-examination and review of books to the Board of Education.

It would not involve this committee of teachers, students or parents in the process.

The proposed policy states that the school board will determine whether the material is consistent with educational goals.

If the board decided to withdraw a book, members would have to publicly announce that it was up for review before a vote could take place.

The board would then decide to keep it, remove it altogether, or move it to an area of ​​the library where a parent’s signature would be required for the book to be checked out.

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The book in question that spurred concern is Looking for Alaska, the debut novel by author John Green, who also wrote the popular The Fault in Our Stars.

Green’s novel contains graphic descriptions of a sex act. It was one of the most banned titles nationwide in the 2021-22 school year, according to a report published Monday by pen Americaan advocacy group dedicated to freedom of writing.

The book remains available to students at Cabarrus County High School, although all copies have been loaned.

Opinions at Monday’s meeting were divided.

“Public schools are about public education. I think we have to be careful what this educational material is,” one person said.

“The board does not provide media collections. We, as school library media coordinators, who are all highly qualified to do our jobs and have masters degrees to prove it, do so,” said another person.

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“The quickest way to get a teenager to read is to ban a book. Such a good job,” commented another person.

The board did not make a decision on Monday evening. That should come at a later date.

in one series of tweetsGreen said Looking for Alaska has been in print for 17 years and has been challenged countless times, “but I’ve never seen anything like the concerted effort in 2022 to get it and so many other books out of libraries and schools in… to remove surrounding land.”

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