BEDFORD COUNTY, Va. (WSET) — Bedford County schools have a new book policy that sparked some controversy among school board members.
The five-step policy lays out what will happen when books are challenged in the school system.
Some school board members are frustrated that parents aren't involved or notified until step four.
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In the new process, if a parent has a complaint about a book, they will first go to the school's library media specialist.
That person would look at the material and could decide to pull it from the shelves.
If the specialist cannot decide, it moves to the school's principal. Then, it moves to the director of the curriculum.
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If the complaint is still not resolved after that, it goes before the chief learning officer and division level review committee, which comprises parents, teachers and other staff.
However, school board member Dr. Susan Mele pushed for parents earlier in the process.
"They want to be involved in the beginning. I don't see why we would not allow them to do that. To me that's taking away their rights saying, you have a right to make a challenge, but you don't have a right to counter the challenge," Dr. Mele said.
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Dr. Mele believes parents shouldn't have to wait until step four to be a part of the conversation.
The policy passed in a tight 4 to 3 vote. Dr. Mele, Georgia Hairston and Susan Kirby voted to revise the policy. Christopher Daniels, Matthew Holbrook, Marcus Hill and Dwayne Nelms voted to pass the policy as it was written.
To read the full policy, click here.