Victory in Louisiana! Just over a week after the Plaquemines Parish School District reinstated a previously imposed ban on Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird, the book was restored to classrooms after a special school board meeting last night.
According to local TV station WDSU, Superintendent Denis Rousselle recommended that the board “remove any limitations on instructional materials” and “review policies and procedures regarding texts and literature.” The board voted in favor of a resolution to do so. The lifting of the ban is certainly wonderful, but the news that the district will revisit its materials challenge policy is equally welcome.
We hope that the current policy — which gives principals unilateral authority to remove challenged items from classrooms and libraries if they so choose — will be scrapped in favor of one that allows input from all constituencies, including teachers, librarians, students, and parents. The American Library Association’s Workbook for Selection Policy Writing might be a good place to start!
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Maren Williams is a reference librarian who enjoys free speech and rescue dogs.