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Request for Reconsideration of Library Material (Materials Challenge)
The following procedures shall be followed when there is a request for reconsideration of any instructional materials:
A. The parent or guardian of a student(s) enrolled in the school district expresses concern in a meeting or through correspondence with the media specialist, teacher and/or principal.
Patron* is given an opportunity to express concern and ask questions regarding the material.
The patron filing a request for reconsideration of material must be the parent of a student in the school where the request is filed.
The patron is informed of procedures for filing a request for reconsideration of material.
If desired, the patron is given a copy of the Request for Reconsideration of Instructional Materials.
* For the purpose of this procedure, "patron" is defined as a parent or legal custodian of a student enrolled in a Fulton County school.
B. When the completed Request for Reconsideration of Instructional Materials is returned, a copy is filed in the principal's office and with the central office for media services.
C. When a Request for Reconsideration of Instructional Materials is completed and returned to the school the Local School Media Committee will be expanded to two (2) parents and school instructional staff representing the content area and grade level of the student(s), and two (2) instructional staff members one (1) grade level about the student(s) current grade level. A majority* of the members of the expanded committee must be present to consider a request for reconsideration.
D. The expanded Local School Media Committee is informed of the request and proceeds, as soon as possible, to read/view the material in question. Response will occur within 25 working days from the date of the formal written request for reconsideration.
E. After all members have read/viewed the materials, the committee will meet to discuss the request and make a decision as to what action will be taken. The patron may appear at the committee meeting to explain the reason for the objection to the material.
F. Upon the decision of the committee, a letter stating the decision and its rationale shall be written and mailed by certified mail to the patron within five working days. Copies of the letter are kept on file in the principal's office and in the office of the media services. The letter is sent under the school principal's signature.
G. If the patron is dissatisfied with the local school's decision, a letter requesting system level reconsideration may be sent to the senior leader for instructional services. This request must be sent within 10 working days following the receipt of the letter stating the local school's decision.
H. Upon receipt of the patron's letter, the senior leader for instructional services will notify the central office of media services and authorize the convening of the System Level Media Committee.
I. When a Request for Reconsideration of Instructional Materials is being considered at the system level, the System Level Media Committee will be expanded to include two (2) parents and instructional staff representing the content area and current grade level of the student. These parents shall be designated by school level (elementary, middle, and high) for representation on the committee. When a request for reconsideration is filed, members selected from the appropriate school level will become members of the expanded committee, (i.e., elementary school parents will be added if the request comes from an elementary school; middle school parents will be added if the request comes from a middle school; and high school parents will be added when a request comes from a high school.)
J. A majority of the members of the expanded committee must be present to render a decision regarding a request for reconsideration. If a majority of the committee is unable, after the second attempt, to schedule a time for the meeting within the required time frame, the chairman of the committee may appeal to the senior leader for instructional services for an extension beyond the required 20-day time frame. They may grant or deny the extension, determine that the committee may proceed with less than a majority of its members present, and/or appoint new committee members to replace existing members who have been or will be unable to attend a scheduled committee meeting.
H. When materials adopted at the district level are being reconsidered, the senior leader for instructional services may expand the System Level Media Committee to include persons qualified in the subject area.
I. Within 20 working days or 30 working days if an extension has been approved, of the formal written appeal, the committee will convene and render a decision regarding what action is to be taken. The patron may appear at the committee meeting to explain the reason for the objection to the material.
K. Within five working days of the committee's meeting, a letter stating the committee's decision is written and mailed by certified mail to the patron initiating the request. A copy of the letter is also sent to the offices of the senior leader for instructional services, media services, the superintendent and the School Board.
L. If the patron is dissatisfied with the System Level Media Committee's decision, the patron may request the Board to consider the matter by writing a letter within 10 working days of the decision to the President of the Board. A packet detailing the findings of previous review committees, including minutes of meetings, the completed request for reconsideration of instructional material, and a copy of the material being reconsidered, will be sent to the Board within five working days after the request for review has been received.
M. Upon receipt of a request for reconsideration of the System Level Media Committee's decision, and within the timeline for items to be placed on the Board meeting agenda, the Board may consider the matter at the next regular Board meeting. The Board's consideration of the matter may include, but is not necessarily limited to, the following procedures:
The Board may render a decision based upon the material presented by the System Level Media Committee. The Board may affirm the committee's decision, affirm the decision with modification, or reject the committee's recommendation and decide to accept the request of the patron.
Reconsideration of the Board's decision shall not be subject to further review for at least two years from the date of such action. A Board initiated request, by a majority vote, may result in earlier reconsideration by the System-Level Media Committee.
The Board may choose to do a full review of the material. If full review is chosen, the Board may proceed as follows:
· The Board may ask the patron who has filed the request for reconsideration, the System Level Media Committee or its designee and/or the Superintendent or designee to address the Board;
· The Board may request additional materials or information from the administration, if necessary;
· The Board should render a decision at the next board meeting by the Board members present.
N. The patron requesting the reconsideration is informed in writing of the Board's decision within ten working days of the Board meeting.
M. The contested material will remain in circulation until a decision is made.