Complaint About a Book
Policy IIA outlines the selection of materials available in West Linn-Wilsonville Schools. Individuals with a complaint about a book or text in their school library should contact their school or teacher to restrict access for their student. Concerned individuals can also fill out a Request for Reconsideration of a Book Form. Completed Forms should be sent to Kelly Douglas or delivered to the District Office.
The following information describes the material selection process used by the West Linn-Wilsonville School District and the avenue for individuals who would like to express questions or concerns about available materials.
Core instructional materials are those adopted and paid for by the District for required use by all teachers with all students. Materials selected will be in compliance with OAR 581-011-0050 to -0117, OAR 581-021-0045 and ORS Chapter 337. There may be some supplemental materials in addition to the core adopted instructional materials that are added later in response to student data or selected by teachers for use based on needs of the students. Teacher-selected supplemental materials are those selected by teachers for use in individual classrooms (such as classroom libraries, school book rooms) to supplement the district-adopted instructional materials.
Library Books and Media
Library books and media are considered supplementary and are selected by the district librarians using the following criteria and processes:
- Regular sessions where teacher-librarians collaboratively practice applying state, national and school library criteria to select materials for school library collections;
- ALA School Library Selection Criteria and criteria from the WLWV Library Handbook;
- National school library review sources, which include reviews from parents or input from staff, to identify materials that support and enrich District curriculum while also providing materials to support students’ interests and learning; and
- Materials free of racial, national origin, religious, disability, age, marital status, sexual orientation, gender expression, gender identity or sexual bias.
Reconsideration of Texts or Instructional Materials
Although care and a comprehensive process is always exercised in selecting instructional materials, there may be occasions when a member of the community, parent, student or staff find certain classroom or library texts/materials inappropriate and wish to request a reconsideration of their use. In such an event, the following process will be used:
Core Texts: Core texts (these are required texts that all students use) are reviewed by parents and the community during the adoption process and comments are collected during that time. Outside of that process, a parent/guardian with a concern about Core text materials will:
- Contact their student’s teacher in an attempt to informally resolve the issue. While alternative solutions may be implemented for that particular student, under no circumstances should the materials in question be removed from the classroom altogether or from other students.
- Request, and be granted, that their student be allowed to use an alternative text for their instruction (e.g. different novel to read for their assignment) or have reasonable restricted access to the concerning text in the classroom.
- If the parent/guardian is not able to resolve the concerns informally with the teacher, they shall share their concerns with the building principal.
- If the concerned individual is not able to resolve the concerns with the principal, the individual will meet with a central office administrator within the Office of Teaching and Learning who oversees that school level (primary, middle, high).
Supplementary Texts (Classroom Choice, Library Choice): Supplementary Texts are ones that students self-select either from a classroom library or from the school library. These texts are optional reading choices. A parent/guardian who has concerns about a supplementary text will:
- Contact their student’s teacher or librarian in an attempt to informally resolve the issue but should understand that under no circumstances should the materials in question be removed from other students or circulation as a way to reach agreement.
- Request, and be granted, that their student be allowed to use an alternative text (e.g. different novel to read) or have restricted access to the concerning text in the library (within the library electronic check-out system).
- If the concerned individual is not able to resolve the concerns informally with the teacher or teacher-librarian, they shall share their concerns with the building principal.
- If the concerned individual is not able to resolve the concerns with the principal, the individual will meet with a central office administrator within the Office of Teaching and Learning who oversees that grade level or the library program.
- If the concerned individual is still not satisfied with the response of the central office administrator, they may fill out a form requesting the text to be considered for removal from or restriction within the library or classroom. The completed form will go to the central office administrator and the superintendent.
- If the central office administrator, upon receiving the form and in consultation with the superintendent, believes that the request needs to proceed to a formal review of the text by a Review Committee, then that process will occur. Otherwise, the complaint of the text remains under the final decision of the central office administrator (Office of Teaching and Learning).
Supplementary Library Text Review Committee
When a supplementary library text is recommended for a formal review by a central office administrator (Office of Teaching and Learning), then the Superintendent may assemble a Library Text Review Committee to review the text(s) in question. Due to time and thoroughness of the process, multiple texts of concern brought forward shall be limited to four (4) to review by the Committee, with an exception for more if approved by the Superintendent.
Note: Per ODE guidelines, the text(s) in question shall remain in place while the review process is conducted.
The Library Text Review Committee shall consist of the assistant superintendent overseeing Curriculum & Instruction, the assistant superintendent overseeing the Library program; 1-2 Teacher-Librarians or Grade Level teachers depending on the location of the text in question; member of the community familiar with library texts or instructional materials; parent (with children in the district) with concerns about the text/materials; parent (with children in the district) in support of the text/materials; and student(s) from the corresponding grade level using the text/materials (if appropriate). Depending on the nature of the complaint, a school counselor or social worker or other specialist may also be included.
The Library Text Review Process will include:
- Norms and procedures for the review process.
- Reading of the text/materials in their entirety.
- Review of the text/material in question and formed opinions based on the material taken as a whole and not on passages taken out of context.
- Application of the American Library Association (ALA) School Library Selection Criteria rubric in evaluating the text.
- After review, evaluation and input from all members of the committee, a secret ballot will be used to determine the outcome of the text review. Committee members may vote to:
- Continue inclusion of the text/material in the classroom/library with no restrictions, or
- Restrict its inclusion to specific grades or locations, or
- Remove the text/material from the library or classroom.
The results of the majority votes from the ballot will determine the outcome. In the event of a “tie”, an administrator from the Office of Teaching and Learning will be brought in to serve as another member of the committee with full duties herein, receive a summary of the concerns/supports, and submit a ballot.
Findings will be presented in a report to the Superintendent and shared with the concerned individual/complainant. If multiple complaints/concerns/support were brought before the School Board in a public meeting regarding the texts, then the findings will be shared with the Board by the Superintendent in a public meeting.
The determination of the Library Review Committee is final and upon completion of the review the Committee is disbanded. Materials that are restricted or removed from school libraries or a classroom may be reviewed again every three years, by request of a student, parent/guardian (of a currently enrolled WLWV student) or staff member.
The Library Text Review committee is not a standing committee; rather, it is a task-assigned committee assembled upon direction of the Superintendent and may not be asked to convene more than once during a school or calendar year to address repeated or multiple-text concerns.