Carroll County School Board revises policy restricting 'sexually explicit content'
CARROLL COUNTY, Md. (WBFF) — The Carroll County Public School Board voted Wednesday to revise a policy restricting books and materials with sexually explicit content.
"We decided to add language to the policy that restricts, not bans, but restricts student access to library materials and instructional materials that contain detailed, graphic accounts of sex acts," said school board member Stephen Whisler.
"I think the new language is going to offer our educators even better guidance what they should and should not provide our students," Whisler said.
Supporters of the policy are pleased with the outcome.
"We were the organization to bring to light about 68 books that contained explicit material, some of them were even sex manuals," said Kit Hart, the Chapter Chair for Carroll County Moms for Liberty.
"It couldn't have gone better," she added.
However, several community members spoke at Wednesday's meeting, opposing the policy.
"I am for protecting children from exploitation and creating nurturing learning environments, but must reluctantly be against the policy revision as written because the definition still lacks clarity and seems too broadly restrictive," one community member said.
"This policy regarding sexually explicit content, I feel is vague," said School Board Student Representative Sahithya Sudhakar.
Sudhakar says she feels the policy leaves room for interpretation.
"While I understand the intent of the policy, it is very difficult to standardize the way that we review our content," she said. "One person reading it may have a different interpretation than another, which may result in a loss of content in our schools."
However, Whisler disagrees.
"The new language I believe makes it very specific," Whisler said. "I think this policy will remove distractions and get us on the track to making sure Carroll County is the best in the state."
In a statement, a spokesperson from Carroll County Public Schools said in part," Board Policy IIAA is further defined in the Administrative Regulations and an associated handbook. The general selection criteria for selecting and evaluating instructional and supplemental materials remain unchanged. “Does not include sexually explicit content” is a criterion in the existing Administrative Regulations and Handbook. The action by the Board on January 10th further defined sexually explicit content. The procedures for selecting, evaluating, and adopting instructional and supplemental materials remain unchanged.