Reconsideration Policy

PROCEDURES FOR DEALING WITH CHALLENGED MATERIALS

Any member of the ASIJ Community may formally challenge materials in the ASIJ Harris Library on the basis of appropriateness. This procedure is for the purpose of considering the opinions of those persons in the school and the community who are not directly involved in the selection process.

REQUEST FOR INFORMAL RECONSIDERATION

The library receiving a complaint regarding a learning resource will try to resolve the issue informally.

The principal or other appropriate staff will explain to the questioner the school’s selection procedure, criteria, and qualifications of those persons selecting the resource.

The principal or other appropriate staff will explain the particular place the questioned resource occupies in the education program, its intended educational usefulness, and additional information regarding its use, or refer the party to someone who can identify and explain the use of the resource.

If the questioner wishes to file a formal challenge, a copy of the ASIJ Harris Library policy and a Request for Reconsideration of Learning Resources form will be handed or mailed to the party concerned by the headmaster.
REQUEST FOR FORMAL RECONSIDERATION
PRELIMINARY PROCEDURES
Each library will keep on hand and make available Request for Reconsideration of Learning Resources forms. All formal objections to learning resources must be made on these forms.

The Request for Reconsideration of Learning Resources form will be signed by the questioner and filed with the headmaster or someone so designated by the headmaster.

The principal, the assistant principal, and the curriculum coordinator will be informed of the formal complaint received.

The request for reconsideration will be referred to a reconsideration committee at the school level for reevaluation of the resource.

THE RECONSIDERATION COMMITTEE

Upon receipt of a request for formal reconsideration of a learning resource, the headmaster will appoint a reconsideration committee including the following membership as appropriate:

  • one member of the administration chosen by the headmaster
  • one member of the faculty chosen by the faculty
  • one member of the library media center professional staff chosen by the library media center professional staff
  • one member of the ASIJ Board of Directors chosen by the Board of Directors
  • two students chosen by the student body
The headmaster will:
  • name a convener of the reconsideration committee
  • arrange for a reconsideration committee meeting within 10 working days after the complaint is received

The reconsideration committee may choose to consult community persons with related professional knowledge.

The reconsideration committee will review the challenged resource and judge whether it conforms to the principles of selection outlined in the ASIJ Harris Library's Selection of Learning Resources policy.

RESOLUTION

The reconsideration committee will:

  • examine the challenged resource
  • determine professional acceptance by reading critical reviews of the resource
  • weigh values and faults and form opinions based on the material as a whole rather than on passages or sections taken out of context;
  • discuss the challenged resource in the context of the educational program
  • discuss the challenged item with the individual questioner when appropriate
  • prepare a written report

The written report will be discussed with the individual questioner if requested.

The written report will be retained by the headmaster, with copies forwarded to the principal, assistant principal and curriculum coordinator.

A minority report also may be filed.

Written reports, once filed, are confidential and available for examination by trustees and appropriate officials only.

The decision of the reconsideration committee is binding for the individual school.

Notwithstanding any procedure outlined in this policy, the questioner will have the right to appeal any decision of the reconsideration committee to the Board of Directors as the final review panel.

GUIDING PRINCIPLES

Any resident or employee of the school district may raise objection to learning resources used in a school’s educational program, despite the fact that the individuals selecting such resources were duly qualified to make the selection, followed the proper procedure, and observed the criteria for selecting learning resources.

No parent has the right to determine reading, viewing, or listening matter for students other than his or her own children.

The ASIJ Harris Library supports the Library Bill of Rights, adopted by the American Library Association. When learning resources are challenged, the principles of the freedom to read/listen/view must be defended as well.

Access to challenged material will not be restricted during the reconsideration process.

The major criterion for the final decision is the appropriateness of the material for its intended educational use.

A decision to sustain a challenge will not necessarily be interpreted as a judgment of irresponsibility by the professionals involved in the original selection and/or use of the material.