The Pinellas committee recommends the withdrawal of 5 books before the school year

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (WFLA) – The Pinellas County Schools Library Media Specialist Committee reviewed dozens of books ahead of the next school year. Of the titles they read, five were recommended for restriction and five for deletion. However, final decisions regarding books are made by individual principals.

A representative of the Pinellas County school system noted that the committee does not ban the books, but rather makes recommendations based on several criteria set by state law. The examination process takes place every year, according to documents provided by the school system.

To that end, the committee reviewed just under 100 books ahead of the 2022-2023 school year, five books were recommended for removal, based on the criteria above, and five more were recommended for relocation. to the “Professional collection – Office of prevention”. ”

Here are the recommended books for removal or restriction:

Recommended for withdrawal Professional Collection – Office of Prevention
Tips from Ellen Hopkins Call Me Max by Kyle Lukoff
Perfect by Ellen Hopkins Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You by Jason Reynolds and Ibram X. Kendi
Morris Micklewhite and the Mandarin Dress by Christine Baldacchino A for Activist by Innosanto Nagara
It’s Perfectly Normal by Robie Harris and Michael Emberley What is white privilege? by Kelisa Wing and Leigh Ann Erickson
L8r, G8r by Lauren Myracle Anti-Racist Baby by Ibram X. Kendi
(Source: Pinellas County Schools)

It is not yet clear what final actions the individual directors have taken regarding the 10 titles in question.

Another book would still be under review, “Girl From Nowhere” by Tiffany Rosenhan.

The county review board reviewed 94 books. Of the books reviewed, officials said 35 were requested for review by schools and/or community members. Of the books reviewed, 50 appeared on the annual Young Readers and Teen Readers Lists of 2022, according to PCS. Officials said the remaining books to be reviewed were recently published and were being considered for inclusion in the collection.

“Each summer, certified library media specialists will meet to review and discuss books recently released and currently in our library media collections across the district,” PCS said. “Using our district selection guidelines and applicable state law, this provides an opportunity to calibrate as a district in terms of selecting age-appropriate resources for media library collections. This is one of many measures Pinellas County schools are implementing to support recent changes to state law and the review of reading materials.

The responsibility of the review committee was to determine whether the titles should be restricted and, if so, to determine what the limits would be.

The factors used to choose whether or not to restrict books were based on state criteria outlined in Florida Statute 1006.34. The three candidates were:

  • The age of the students who should have access to the material or resource
  • The educational purpose to be served by the material
  • Considering the diversity of students in this state

Additionally, the Library Board was “encouraged” to codify existing policies and media collection procedures after the adoption of House Bill 1467according to a school system official.

Part of HB 1467 focused on limiting school board tenures, but another provision of the newly enacted law sought to change the public accessibility of materials held in Florida State school library collections. It also created new requirements for choosing and adopting materials, including consideration of new books for inclusion in libraries or for use in classroom instruction.

While the county committee reviewed books that might be present in any or all schools in Pinellas, each school’s actual collection is “the responsibility of the school principal,” according to the school system. This is why the review committee only offers recommendations.

There is also a process for requesting or challenging a review at Pinellas County schools. Parents or community members are able to review individual library collection online. If there are “specific questions or concerns,” affected residents can direct them to their principals, according to PCS.

More information on material and resource selections, as well as options for removing a student from certain materials, can be found online.

Colin L. Johnson