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Wicomico County Board of Education Proposes New Media Policy To Further Protect Obscenity




The Wicomico County Board of Education decided to separate the current Selection and Review of Textbooks, Instructional Materials, and Media Materials Policy into two separate policies, applying even more conditions that pave the way for sexually-explicit materials and a fortified system to make sure these materials stay in place. To fully understand their motives, it requires you to read between the lines.


Selection and Review of Curriculum & Instructional Materials Policy Download

Media Resource Selection & Review Policy Download


Below is the new proposed "Media Resource Selection & Review Policy." The highlighted sections are what you need to pay attention to. You can see how materials are selected, who has the full authority, the ambiguous criteria, and a backdoor provision for "additional criteria" to allow the superintendent or his designee to add secret criteria as they see fit.




With all of this criteria, the elected board still refuses to define "appropriate" even though they ironically use the word in section III.2.c.


On page two, Section III.B.2. below, the statement is deceptive: "If having access to the book removed for their child does not satisfy the parent guardian." It's deceptive because the child has access to any book in the media center (no matter what). The WCBOE wants to imply that they are accommodatingly blocking access at the request of a parent, but the objectionable book is always accessible as it remains on the shelf. They are deceptively referring to a "flagged book" in their procedure so that a child cannot check out a book at the parent's request. There's nothing in place that prevents a child from reading obscene materials at school, which is willfully negligent.





You can see the establishment of a rigged "Media Resources Reconsideration Committee" that is hand-picked by the superintendent. Out of the gate, parents are outnumbered by biased faculty (conflict of interest), a student representative (that should have no say unless 18), and a community activist-librarian without a child in the school or residency requirement (contrary to their decision to exclude resident-taxpayers here).





To further obstruct, a condition of 5-years was added to stop future challenges or reviews, regardless of content or who reviewed it.





There is nothing stated in this new policy to prevent obscene materials to be placed in media centers. However, there is an obvious design to protect obscenity under their broad categories. What most don't know is that English teachers are given money to purchase books for their classrooms, creating secret libraries outside of the media center to circumvent the media policy.


 

The WCBOE is asking for your input on this policy.


Please ask the WCBOE to add this verbiage to the Media Resource Selection & Review Policy BOE-GEN-PL-036 by emailing the following items in green:


Recommended changes/additions for Media Resource Selection & Review Policy

Add to POLICY STATEMENT III: THE WICOMICO COUNTY BOARD OF EDUCATION RECOGNIZES THAT ALL INSTRUCTIONAL MATERIALS, INCLUDING SUPPLEMENTAL MATERIALS, SHALL MEET THE ESTABLISHED GENERAL SELECTION CRITERIA. ASIDE FROM THE INSTRUCTIONAL MATERIALS APPROVED FOR INSTRUCTION RELATED TO FAMILY LIFE AND HUMAN DEVELOPMENT, ALL OTHER INSTRUCTIONAL MATERIALS, INCLUDING SUPPLEMENTAL AND MEDIA MATERIALS, SHALL NOT CONTAIN SEXUALLY EXPLICIT CONTENT. SEXUALLY EXPLICIT CONTENT IS DEFINED AS UNAMBIGUOUSLY DESCRIBING, DEPICTING, SHOWING, OR WRITING ABOUT SEX OR SEX ACTS IN A DETAILED OR GRAPHIC MANNER.

  • Section II. “Media Resources” means those resources which include, but are not limited to, books, supplemental materials, online resources, periodicals, video/audio recordings housed or accessed in schools, including its media centers, libraries, and classrooms.

  • Section III.A:2: Any additional criteria defined by the superintendent must be submitted to the board for their approval and must be added to section II.A.2 of this policy.

  • Section III.B.2.: members may be recommended by the superintendent or board member and appointed by the board annually.

  • Section III.B.2.a: Comment: There should be more non-staff parents than WCPS staff on the Media Resources Reevaluation Committee. Having parents outnumbered by staff is a conflict of interest.

  • Section III.B.2.a.viii: The community member with library experience must reside in the county and have a child in the school system.

  • Section III.6: Comment: Reduce the (5) year reevaluation term to match the same term of the Media Resources Reevaluation Committee (1) year.




The Board’s next meeting is March 12 at 7:00PM, and they say that any opinions submitted before then will be considered before this meeting.


Fellows & Editors

March 1, 2024 


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