Cabarrus Co. School Board Updates Parent Class Material Objection Policy

CABARRUS COUNTY, NC (QUEEN CITY NEWS) — In a heated discussion Monday, the Cabarrus County School Board voted to update how parents can object to course materials.

Under the new policy, if a parent is concerned about the course material, they can request a reconsideration form from their principal. This form would then be discussed by a review committee made up of district and school staff, parents, and students.

Under the new policy, the committee must decide based on legitimate educational reasons by following statewide teaching standards, not just because they don’t like the ideas expressed in the material.

Materials such as books and pictures will not be removed from the classroom until the committee has made its final decision.

Parents can request replacement equipment while waiting.

It should also be noted that any decision made by the reconsideration committee would only affect the school where the complaint was filed and not the entire district.

Still, dozens of parents have signed a letter to the council expressing their opposition to the policy changes. They fear that the new policy does not include any process to reinstate books that have been banned.

“We understand that the policy includes safeguards to ensure that a book is carefully reviewed before removal; However, we are concerned about what might happen if a book goes through a council appeals process without clear checks and balances defined in their own processes,” mother Ellen Ivers said at Monday’s meeting.

Board chair Holly Grimsley said she believes much of the opposition to the policy stems from a misunderstanding. She thinks parents believe the approach makes it easier for schools to ban books, while the updates focus only on the process by which parents can object to course material. She says the committee that created these policy changes did not ban or discuss the banning of specific books.

Monday’s vote was just the first reading of the policy.

Yet the board created a notable exception to allow the policy to take effect immediately to account for the first day of school. The second reading and vote will take place at their September board meeting.

About Stuart M. McFarland

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