Over the years, teachers, librarians, administrators, parents, and students have engaged in a heated debate about what materials are and are not appropriate for students.
On November 10, 2021, Governor Greg Abbott got involved in the issue when he ordered the Texas Education Agency (TEA) to meet statewide standards to prevent the presence of obscene content in Texas public school libraries. His statement encouraged “all school boards to adopt a library policy to protect our students.”
The TEA responded by releasing a seven-page document on April 11 discussing statewide standards/policies regarding library content.
At the MISD Board meeting on Monday, June 18, the Board finalized a three-page document titled Muleshoe ISD Library Policy – EFB (Local) District Changes.
“We already had an instructional materials policy covering library books, but we wanted an addition to the policy specific to library books,” said MISD Superintendent Dr. RL Richards. “The books that parents found in libraries – not ours but others in the state – contained inappropriate material. We hadn’t received any complaints, but we wanted to make sure we were doing what the community wanted.
Richards points out that full copies of all books in the schools library are available online.
“If something is not right with our students, we want parents to let us know,” Richards said. “Four copies of each book are available online. They can be extracted and re-recorded.
The books can be accessed by going to the homepage and clicking on High School/Library/Destiny Discover or by going to https://search.follettsoftware.com/metasearch/ui/125430.
“Our school board is one of the first in the state to adopt this policy. I’m really excited about it,” Richards said.
Muleshoe ISD provided a copy of the library policy to the Muleshoe Journal. Politics:
Describes the objectives of the policy
Encourages parent involvement
Provides references for “harmful” and “obscene” material definitions
Declares that the ultimate determination of suitability rests with the student and parents
Describes a process for disputed resources
Describes the informal reconsideration process
Describes the formal reconsideration process
Takes into account gifts and donations
· Responsible for equipment maintenance