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SELECTION OF CONTROVERSIAL LEARNING RESOURCES - REGULATION

Policy Number: 
Board File: IJA-R

The effective presentation of supplementary controversial learning resources is primarily dependent on the classroom teachers.

Prior to presenting or using a supplementary controversial learning resource or a resource that might be considered controversial, teachers must preview the resource in its entirety before seeking and receiving approval from their building administrator. If the building administrator determines that the material is a controversial learning resource, the building administrator may withhold his/her approval. Alternatively, the building administrator may approve use of the resource only if the teacher informs students' parents of the nature, content, and educational purpose of the resource, so that parents may exercise informed judgment in deciding whether their student will participate in classes or exercises using the resource. Students shall be allowed to participate in classes or activities using the resource unless prior written permission from his/her parent or guardian to excuse the student is received. Teachers shall provide suitable alternative activities for students whose parents have requested exclusion from the class or activity. Implementation of alternative activities shall be handled in a manner that does not draw attention to the student.

In selecting a supplementary controversial learning resource, a teacher shall evaluate the proposed resource to consider:

1. Whether the resource will enrich and support the attainment of educational objectives of the guaranteed and viable curriculum, taking into consideration the varied interests, abilities, intellectual development and maturity levels of the learners, and community perceptions;

2. Whether the resource is representative of the many religious, ethnic, and cultural groups;

3. Whether the resource stimulates growth in factual knowledge, literary appreciation, aesthetic values, and ethical standards;

4. Whether the resource provides a background of information which will enable learners to make intelligent judgments in their daily lives;

5. Whether the resource contributes to the presentation of all sides of controversial issues within the overall curriculum so that learners may develop, under guidance, the practice of critical analysis;

6. Whether the resource promotes the goal of providing a comprehensive education appropriate for the interests and needs of the students, recognizing their right to access a wide range of materials and activities;                         

7. Whether the resource encourages the enjoyment of learning;

8. Whether the resource presents timely educational and community issues for the school, staff, and community; and

9. Whether adequate time is available to properly prepare, present, and follow up the resource in a reasonably thorough manner.
 

Guest speakers scheduled to appear at the school shall be reminded that they will be addressing a diverse, yet captive, audience. As a result, guest speakers must respect alternative viewpoints, consider the emotional and intellectual level of the students, and design their presentations appropriately.

Teachers shall communicate in advance with the guest speaker regarding his or her presentation. If the teacher determines that any aspect of the presentation might be considered a controversial learning resource as defined in this policy and regulation, the teacher shall notify the building administrator of any such issues. If the building administrator deems appropriate, the building administrator, teacher, and guest speaker shall confer in an attempt to resolve any disagreements as to the content of the presentation. An invitation to speak may be withdrawn, if the guest speaker is unwilling to abide by the directions of the building administrator.

 

Adopted: February 4, 1998
Revised: April 4, 2000
Revised:  May, 2012