Over 100 books to be reviewed for ban

Escambia County Public Schools libraries will now have a restricted section containing books that are under appeal for “questionable content.”

Students will be required to present an “opt-in” form signed by a parent in order to read books from this section. The new system will allow students to check out the books in question while school officials determine whether they are able to remain in school media centers and classrooms.

The new policy was announced after an Escambia County teacher raised concerns that she had read more than 100 books with “inappropriate” content, some of which she described as containing pornography and child sexual abuse.

“The issue that we were faced with, was that there were a lot of books,” Superintendent Tim Smith told the News Journal. “One person put forth a lot of book titles, and so then it became, ‘Well, this process is not a fast process. So, what do we do with a book that’s been challenged?'”

Linda Quinn, an innovation specialist at West Florida High School, talks Monday at the school's media center about the Escambia County Public Schools' plan to have a restricted section with books under appeal for

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Smith said a district book needs to go before several different boards before being completely banned, such as the School Materials Review Committee, District Materials Review Committee and eventually, the school board. Each book is read by each member of each committee. The book is then analyzed for its literary value, as well as how successfully it complies with state law, before being given the green light to be placed back on the shelf.

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