The Appoquinimink School District in Delaware was considering a new policy that would restrict students’ access to books with “mature or explicit themes.” NCAC’s Kids Rights to Read Project was on the case last week, sending a letter to the school board after some teachers complained this would amount to censorship and violate students’ First Amendment rights.
As we reported:
At the end of the last school year, one parent was outraged when his son, a student in Delaware’s Appoquinimink School District, brought home Identical by Ellen Hopkins. The book, which the student was reading in his school’s literature circle, deals with sensitive themes of sexual abuse.
Outrage turned into action last month when the district found itself contemplating potentially restrictive book adoption and checkout policies that would red flag the books, using vague barometers for determining what is and isn’t “inappropriate” content. In a letter sent to the district today, NCAC and its partners urged Delaware’s Appoquinimink School District against adopting potentially restrictive book assignment and checkout policy.
Good news: The district decided not to implement these new rules.
Elsewhere in Delaware, a battle over the health curriculum at Indian River public schools became source of controversy. As NCAC reported on December 1:
Is it wrong to teach kids that homosexuality is normal?
Officials in Indian River School District, DE found themselves asking this very question after a school board member and pastor, Shaun Fink, called for the removal of health materials that suggested homosexuality is “normal.” He also called for the elimination of clauses on HIV, STD, and pregnancy prevention from the health curriculum in question.
NCAC’s letter to the district called for the subcommittee to make recommendations in accord with science, not an individual’s professed religious beliefs. And this week the subcommittee appears to have heard that message; as reported in DelmarvaNow:
The definitions of sexual orientations and gender roles, including lesbian and gay, should be included in the Indian River School District’s high school health curriculum, a committee decided Monday.
The curriculum committee will bring the findings of a subcommittee on the district’s sexuality education curriculum to the Board of Education meeting Jan. 26. A public hearing on the subject, including a presentation on the curriculum’s specifics, will be held Jan. 22 from 7-9 p.m. at Millsboro Middle School.