The Indian River County School Board voted on August 29th, 2022 to approve Policy 2522 Challenges to Adoption or use of Instructional, Library or Reading List Materials. It was apart of agenda item 13C ‘Public Hearing and Adoption of School Board Policies from 7/25/2022.’
The vote was 5 – 0, with all board members voting in favor of approving the policy.
Prior to the vote, there was a public hearing that was held on the agenda item. No one spoke during the public hearing.
The new policy gives detailed instructions on how to review materials that have been flagged by the School District.
Only parents of a child in the School District or County Residents can challenge a material in the School District.
When materials are challenged, there has to be a hearing held on the challenged material(s). The hearing is held with a hearing officer and the petitioner. The hearing officer gives a recommendation to the school board after the hearing is concluded. If there is a need for appeal after the first hearing, the School Board must convene a committee to review those material(s).
Notably, five parents who do not work for the School District, have to be on the committee. Each Indian River County School Board Member gets to appoint one parent each. The committee will have a total of 11 people on it.
Click here to view the new policy enacted by the School Board. The policy mentioned in this article can be found on pages 3-6 in the PDF.
A new law was signed by Governor DeSantis in March 2022, requiring School Districts to have policy to review questionable materials. The new law went into effect July 1st, 2022.
The new law came about when many inappropriate materials being found in schools across the United States. The materials included reading books and textbooks. The reading books in question had very graphic, sexually explicit content in them. The textbooks had Critical Race Theory and other, non-academic related topics in them. These topics were of no relation to the actual subject students were learning in their schools.
Opponents of the new screening processes claim it is censorship. However, the United States Supreme Court does not protect obscenity. Furthermore, there are Florida Statutes that prohibit a minor child from being knowingly given reading materials with sexually explicit content by an adult. Click here to read FL Statute Obscenity 847.012.
Moms for Liberty – Indian River, Florida Chairman Jennifer Pippin told Indian River News:
“The SDIRC new policy and procedure for challenging library books and anything to do with what children read and learn in schools is following the laws and statutes that protect children. The policy will follow the laws 847 and 1006 that don’t allow sexually explicit content and Critical Race Theory in the hands of children. A new committee will be formed following the Parents in Education law that will include parents that are not school district employees. The policy and procedures for the previous library book challenges were changed three times in four months. The committee did not have any parents with children in school that were not employed by SDIRC. Now, this issue will be resolved and each school board member will be able to select someone to serve on this committee.”
Pippin also said “the school district is responsible for following the laws and statutes that protect children from having sexually explicit content at their fingertips. There is a library permission slip that all parents or guardians must fill out for their children to check out books in SDIRC. It’s not perfect, but it’s one more step to protect them from what is currently sitting on the library shelves. My personal recommendation is to put in the text box for the permission forms ‘no sexually explicit content, no CRT, no challenged materials from Moms for Liberty,’ and whatever else you don’t want your child/children exposed to. It’s not censorship because it is just like not giving children cigarettes, vapes, lotto cards, alcohol or not telling them go to R rated movies without an adult being present. It’s following the laws and statutes that protect children from rape, incest, pedophilia, bestiality and so much more. Many of these are illegal acts when they involve minors. These books that will be permanently removed will be available in the adult section of the public library, Amazon, Barnes and Noble and anywhere else you buy books. That’s not censorship. That’s not burning or banning books. It’s following the laws and statutes that protect children in schools. We are looking forward to challenging approximately 200 library books once this committee is formed.”
Pippin also serves as a Co-Founder of We the People Indian River County.
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