Manatee County School Board approves book procedure

Manatee County School District
Manatee County School District(WWSB)
Published: Feb. 14, 2023 at 7:05 PM EST
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BRADENTON, Fla. (WWSB) - After almost two hours spent discussing the agenda item labeled ‘Approval of the School District of Manatee County (SDMC) Library Media Materials Reconsideration Procedure,’ Manatee County School Board members voted 5-0 to approve a book procedure.

Parents, teachers, and community members alike can now submit a form to challenge a book.

“That form is then sent to the principal and our executive director of curriculum and they look at it. Let’s reconsider this or let’s explain to the parent why this decision was made. If it was removed it was based on statute, based on the new laws, that have come out that deem a book appropriate or inappropriate. If it’s on the line the principal might say well maybe I’ll put the book back,” explained Manatee County Schools Chief of Staff Kevin Chapman.

Board members spent the majority of the time asking Chapman and Executive Director of Curriculum, Dr. Laurie Breslin, questions about the procedure. Many of them made suggestions on ways to improve or change the procedure almost leading to a motion to table the vote.

“Suggest that, because we have a full agenda still yet to go through, give them time to go out and re-draft it and then bring it into us. Then we can vote on it,” said Manatee County Board Member Mary Foreman.

Board member Gina Messenger pushed the group forward adding that if they buckle down on the phrasing of the amendments they could vote. Chapman explained the amendments added transparency by including SACK and the other amendment excluded books that have already been approved by the Florida Department of Education.

The form and a list of books within the schools are on the school district’s website.