BEAUFORT COUNTY, S.C. (WSAV) — Committees are still reviewing a series of books that some feel were “lewd” or “inappropriate” but still on Beaufort County School library shelves.
Now, the school system is making another change when it comes to books in libraries and in classrooms.
Parents who want to know what their child is reading in school or in class will soon have that opportunity thanks to Beaufort County Schools. It’s an expansion of the program which starts this summer.
“It’s a more personalized chance for parents as they navigate their students’ journey in libraries,” said Dr. Mary Stratos, Chief Instructional Services Officer for Beaufort County Schools.
Personalized for parents and kids, It’s designed to match their ideals and values.
Dr. Stratos says this expanded opt-out program is not a direct result of the recent book challenges and reviews but does respond to them.
A new series of forms will allow parents to decide what books—if any —their child will be allowed to check out of the school library.
“[It’s an] opportunity for parents to have a list of authors let’s say. Or a list of titles that could be attached to your opt-out form. Or if I want Mary to not have any experience in the library, I am opting out and taking my child out of the library. Or, the opportunity that I want to review what my child, my student, what title they are taking out. That parent will be notified in advance.”
The choices extend to the classroom as well where alternate assignments will be made available.
This allows a student and their parent’s values to stay the same while the child still gets the same education as the rest of their class.
“That option for your student your child to opt out of an assignment or out of a book to be used for instructional purposes is always existed in Beaufort County,” Dr. Stratos said. “That will continue to exist in our system.”
The program already exists in some districts in Florida. Statistics show that less than 1% of parents use the forms. But, Dr. Stratos says it’s important to give parents a choice.
“Out of collaboration with our board and community and listening to all community members that now we have a tool by which you have a choice.”
The new policy goes into place this June. We have a look at the forms and what you need to fill out here.