DD2 amends proposed expansion to library book review

Dorchester School District Two’s board has voted to put things back to the way they were when it comes to book reviews.
Published: Apr. 24, 2023 at 11:00 PM EDT|Updated: Apr. 24, 2023 at 11:30 PM EDT
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SUMMERVILLE, S.C. (WCSC) - Dorchester School District Two’s board has voted to put things back to the way they were when it comes to book reviews.

A 5-2 vote Monday reversed a proposed policy change would have allowed any taxpayer living in the district to request a review of a book in school libraries. That’s off the table for now following an hourlong public comment period with people both for and against the change.

“While you can make choices for your own children, it can only be considered a disrespectful overreach to think that you are entitled to make those choices for children of others,” teacher Camille Crocker said.

“I don’t think that the review of books should be limited to parents of current students,” Amanda Cicarelli said. “I think the whole community is invested in what our children learn. We have future parents, grandparents, and we have parents who don’t feel happy with the current public system who’ve chosen elsewhere for their children.”

“Every single child deserves to see themselves reflected in the materials we have,” parent Rachel Infinger said. “They should serve as mirrors to show them themselves. People who look like them. People who think like them. People who feel like them, but book should also be windows into other people’s perspectives.”

“I think that contesting books is based on the district’s policy. Right? It’s not about my opinion versus your opinion,” parent Erica Miller said. “It’s about, ‘Does it follow the district’s policy?’ This is not a opportunity to open up book banning.”

“I am not interested in having other people take these opportunities from my family, especially people who do not have a child at my school or do not have a child in the school district,” parent Keith Johnson said. “Perhaps more parents can be shown where and how to exercise their concerns, as they should be able to do so. However, a wide, broad censorship as a rule hurts my family. It doesn’t help it.”

The board did, however, pass a policy change that solidifies timelines for a book review, however, only parents and legal guardians will be allowed to request a review.

The proposed policy still needs to go through at least one more reading before the board before it’s officially established.