Idaho School Board Decides Against Prior Consent Policy

Bless Me, UltimaLast week, CBLDF joined a coalition led by the Kids’ Right to Read Project to oppose a proposed parental consent policy that would have been implemented for every assigned book. On Monday, the Teton County, Idaho, school board reviewed the policy and decided not to implement it, a victory for KRRP and its supporters.

CBLDF joins coalition efforts like these to protect the freedom to read comics. Censorship manifests in many ways, and the unique visual nature of comics makes them more prone to censorship than other types of books. Taking an active stand against all instances of censorship curbs precedent that could adversely affect the rights upon which comics readers depend.

The policy was proposed in the wake of controversy over Rudolfo Anaya’s Bless Me, Ultima, which was removed from and then restored to high school classrooms last year after some parents complained about language and “satanic rituals.” Prior to the meeting, a public comment form was posted, but Superintendent Monte Woolstenhume told Stephen Henderson with the Teton Valley News that there had been very little response.

KRRP argued that the permission form invited parents to second guess the school’s curriculum based on out-of-context summaries of the books rather than familiarity of the material, and KRRP argued that the permission policy put an undue burden on teachers, who would have to rework the curriculum for each and every student whose parent did not grant permission for an assigned text. KRRP’s letter was not addressed directly during the meeting, but the school board decided that “We have policies in place that are adequate to support teachers, to communicate with parents, for administrative review and intervention when it’s appropriate,” without implementing the proposed permission form.

You can read more about the school board meeting at the Teton Valley News. Click here to read the letter that CBLDF joined to protest the proposed policy.

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