Educators hold a unique position of influence and are obligated to exercise care when selecting reading materials for classroom instruction. The National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) recognizes that while “the right of any individual…to read whatever he or she wants to read is basic to a democratic society…the teacher must exercise care to select or recommend works for class reading and group discussion” (NCTE, The Students’ Right to Read).
We are a concerned group of residents in the Adams 12 School District who want the books used for classroom instruction to reflect the same community standards of decency that are applied to other forms of media in the schools (e.g., computer usage, music, movies, student press). See policies 6240, 6260, 5035, 4185 at http://www.adams12.org/superintendent_policies.
We are not seeking to censor or ban any book from school library collections or to hinder student access to reading material. We simply do not want developmentally inappropriate and graphic books used for classroom instruction. Ultimately, we desire a safe, supportive, respectful and productive learning environment for all students, as stated in the Adams 12 mission statement.
We are in the process of petitioning the Adams 12 Schools’ Board of Education on this issue. You are invited to sign our petition here.
We appreciate your support in this important matter.
I, too, want the books used for classroom instruction to reflect the same community standards of decency that are applied to other forms of media in our schools.