As previously reported by Local Profile, Frisco ISD has been in the process of reviewing over a million books in its library since May, removing 10 books from school shelves between February and August. At a meeting on November 30, the board voted to permanently remove five more books for the first time.
After disputing Representative Jared Patterson’s claims that the district wasn’t doing enough to fix the issue of sexually explicit material available in campus libraries and attending heated board meetings addressing the matter, Frisco Superintendent Mike Waldrip announced the district had drafted new guidelines for reviewing publications.
Under the new guidelines, book challenges could face three levels of review although there is an expedited review process available if specific explicit or obscene content can be pointed out in a book.
The first level of review includes parents and staff members examining the material. If the book has been approved but the challenger disagrees, it moves on to level 2 review which involves district officials and administrators. If after this examination the challenger is still unsatisfied with the review, they can appeal to have the board make a final decision.
This was the case for the seven books reviewed during the last board meeting – The Exact Opposite of Okay, Chicken Girl, Glass, The Perks of Being a Wallflower, Glass Castle, Check Please #Hockey, and The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian. They were part of the 28 publications challenged by Patterson, who in addition to serving as the 106th District’s State Representative is a Frisco ISD parent, although he wasn’t present at the meeting for his championed review.
The only two books on the list to escape the permanent removal were The Perks of Being a Wallflower and Glass Castle.
“Further action is required despite success in ridding the schools of this obscene content,” Patterson told WFAA. “I will bring legislation to address this issue in the upcoming session for the sake of our parents, children, and communities as we work to remove sexually explicit books from schools.”
In case you missed it, here’s Local Profile’s report on best-selling author Neil Gaiman’s reaction after being banned by Frisco ISD