Lexington City School Board discusses updates to library book selection policies

The district recently took two books off the shelves at Lylburn-Downing Middle School for having what was called ‘sexually explicit’ material

LEXINGTON. Va. – The Lexington City School Board is reviewing the district’s library book selection policy following concerns over some books at one of the schools.

On Tuesday the board called their monthly meeting to go over some policy updates Lexington City Schools have been working on for the past several weeks.

10 News previously told you about two books removed from Lylburn-Downing Middle School’s library after concerns over some of the material in the books.

Lexington City Schools Superintendent Rebecca Walters said at the time, the district would be reviewing the current policies. Now there are some updates and the school board wanted the public’s opinion.

The controversy has been something not only dealt with locally but also has gained national attention in local libraries across the United States.

School Board Chairman, Tim Diette, pointed out how important it was to gain the public’s input before moving forward with any sort of vote.

“It’s how we go about our work by being informed about the views of our diverse community,” Diette said while addressing the audience.

Policy updates were added, including an update for a review board for when someone has a complaint about a particular book or material in the library.

One of the emphases of the policy updates was to have separate policies ‘library materials’ and ‘learning materials’ since one has to do with what teachers are teaching and the other has to do with what students can read in their free time.

“Any kind of policy that primarily relies on the professional judgment of your library staff, teachers, and administrators as a first pass and then gives us parents flexibility in what we think our kids are ready for … not ready for when it comes to checking out books I think is a pretty good in general pretty good policy,” one parent said during the meeting.

Several parents who spoke at the meeting on Tuesday were very appreciative of the work the district is doing in terms of addressing the issue.

One of the gray areas is determining what age group is classified as a young adult especially since middle schoolers range from 10-14 years old. It’s a gray area one parent had concerns with.

“Libraries have gone along with the literary community and used that term young adult. It’s the term young adult that takes away term child away from children,” the parent said.

Much of the language in the updated policies uses recommendations from the American Library Association.

Below is the full policy presented to the school board on Tuesday:

About the Author:

Connor Dietrich joined the 10 News team in June 2022. Originally from Castle Rock, Colorado, he's ready to step away from the Rockies and step into the Blue Ridge scenery.