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Over the years, teachers, librarians, administrators, parents and students have engaged in a lively debate over what materials are and are not appropriate for students.

On Nov. 10, 2021, Governor Greg Abbott became involved in the issue when he directed the Texas Education Agency (TEA) to address statewide standards to prevent the presence of obscene content in Texas public school libraries. His statement encouraged “all school boards to adopt library policy to protect our students.”

TEA responded by issuing a seven-page document addressing Statewide Standards/Policy Regarding Library Content on April 11.

At the MISD Board of Trustees meeting 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 for library books,” said Dr. R.L. Richards, MISD superintendent. “Books that parents were finding in libraries – not ours but others in the state – had inappropriate material. We had not had any complaints, but we wanted to make sure we were doing what the community wanted.”

Richards points out that full copies all of the schools’ library books are available online.

“If something is not appropriate for our students, we want parents to let us know,” Richards said. “Four copies of each book are available online. They can be checked out and checked back in.”

The books can be accessed by going to the home page 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 the policy. I’m really excited about it,” Richards said.

Muleshoe ISD provided a copy of the Library Policy to the Muleshoe Journal. The policy:

· Outlines policy objectives

· Encourages parental involvement

· Gives references for “harmful” and “obscene” material definitions

· States that the ultimate determination of appropriateness remains with student and parent

· Outlines a process for challenged resources

· Outlines informal reconsideration process

· Outlines formal reconsideration process

· Considers gifts and donations

· Addresses maintenance of materials

Ma'Rico Holland

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