Pemiscot Co. Special School District

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R 6241 Challenged Materials

On occasion, honest differences of opinion may arise about books or materials used in the public schools. In order to handle questions that might arise in an impartial and orderly manner, the following procedures shall be followed:
  1. All complaints shall be reported immediately to the building principal involved, whether these come by telephone, letter, or personal conference.
  2. The person making the complaint shall receive the form "Review of Instructional Materials." A copy of this form may be picked up in the administrator's office.
  3. This form must be completed and returned by the person making the complaint.
  4. Media being questioned will be removed from use, pending committee study and final action by the Board of Education, unless the material questioned is a basic text.
  5. The Superintendent of Schools shall, within fifteen (15) days of receipt of the written request, appoint a review committee of nine people. The committee shall consist of the administrator of the building involved, three teachers, a member of the Board of Education, and four lay persons. The administrator shall serve as secretary.
  6. The classroom teachers appointed shall be represented by the grade level or subject area where the media is used, another grade level or subject area, and a librarian.
  7. The four lay persons appointed shall be selected from a list of eight people recommended to the Superintendent by the president of the Board of Education. Two of the four persons appointed must be parents/guardians of children in the schools.
  8. Within twenty (20) days of the appointment of the committee, the committee shall meet, review the written request for reconsideration, read the questioned materials, evaluate, and prepare a written report of its findings and recommendations to the Superintendent of Schools.
  9. The committee may recommend that the questioned materials be:
    1. Retained without restriction;
    2. Retained with restriction; or
    3. Not retained.
  10. The Superintendent shall, at the next appointed meeting of the Board of Education, report the recommendations of the Review Committee to the Board of Education. The decision of the Board will be final.
  11. The decision of the Board shall be reported to the principal of the school, to the complainant, and to other appropriate professional personnel on the next school day. The principal shall see that the decision of the Board is carried out.
  12. The librarian responsible for that school shall keep on file all pertinent information concerning the questioned materials or any books or materials likely to be questioned.
Challenges to Information Accessible on the Internet

In compliance with the Children's Internet Protection Act ("CIPA"), 47 U.S.C. § 254, the District utilizes technological devices designed to filter and block the use of any District computer with Internet access to retrieve or transmit any visual and/or audio depictions that are obscene, child pornography, or "harmful to minors" as defined by CIPA and material which is otherwise inappropriate for District students.

Due to the dynamic nature of the Internet, sometimes Internet websites and web material that do not fall into these categories are blocked by the filter. In the event that a District student or employee feels that a website or web content has been improperly blocked by the District's filter and this website or web content is appropriate for access by District students, Board Policy 6320 should be followed to request that the website be opened on District computers. In the event that a parent or District patron feels that a website or web content has been improperly blocked by the District's filter and this website or web content is appropriate for access by District students, the process described below should be followed:

  1. All concerns regarding blocked material shall be made to the District Superintendent/Superintendent's designee.
  2. The District Superintendent/designee shall review the blocked material and make a determination regarding its appropriateness for District students.
  3. The complainant will be notified within three (3) days if the blocked material is deemed appropriate for District students and student access to this web material will be allowed immediately upon processing by the District's technology department.
  4. If the web content is deemed unsuitable for access by District students, the complainant will be notified within three (3) days of their request and this material will remain blocked by the District's software.
  5. Appeal of the decision may be made in writing to the Board of Education.
  6. In case of an appeal, the Board of Education will review the contested material and make a determination.
  7. Material subject to the complaint will not be unblocked pending this review process.
Objections to Internet Access: In the event that a student, employee, parent or District patron feels that a website or web content that is available to District students through District Internet access is obscene, child pornography, or "harmful to minors" as defined by CIPA or material which is otherwise inappropriate for District students, the process described below should be followed:
  1. All concerns regarding access to material shall be made to the District Superintendent/Superintendent's designee.
  2. Material which is patently obscene, child pornography or "harmful to minors" will be blocked immediately by the Superintendent or his designee and the complainant will be notified.
  3. For challenges to material on the Internet which is not patently obscene, child pornography, or "harmful to minors", the District Superintendent/Superintendent's designee shall appoint a review committee consisting of himself/herself, two (2) community members, the complainant, and two (2) educators from the District and a District network specialist. The first meeting of the review committee must take place no later than ten (10) school days after the concern has been raised.
  4. The committee will review the material and return within ten (10) days a decision regarding whether or not the material will be removed or restricted in any manner.
  5. The District Superintendent/Superintendent's designee will report the recommendation of the review committee to the complainant.
  6. Materials subject to the concern are not removed from use pending committee study and any final action by the Board of Education.
  7. The complainant, if not satisfied, may appeal the decision in writing to the District Superintendent.
  8. In case of an appeal, the Superintendent reports the recommendation of the review committee and the written appeal to the Board of Education. The Board of Education will review the information and make a decision within three (3) days after presentment of the information. The Board of Education's decision will be final.
  9. The decision of the Board of Education is then reported to the District Superintendent/Superintendent's designee who will inform the complainant.
  10. If the Board deems that the material is unsuitable for access by District students, the material will be blocked within three (3) school days of the Board's decision.

Board Approved Date: November 12, 2015