Parents and caregivers across the state, and now here in Bloomington, are speaking up to demand that schools remove or restrict books rampant with sexually explicit, grade-inappropriate, or religiously offensive content. But a larger threat looms. It’s called Policy 606.5 Library Materials.    Mundane sounding, this policy is meant to silence the community and subjugate parents’ concerns on material available to students in school library collections.  It significantly curtails what little recourse is available in existing policies.  No surprise this policy is blatantly anti-parent, as it mirrors the model policy developed by the Minnesota School Board Association, whose director endorsed the petition to the Department of Justice to deal with the supposed “domestic terrorism” threats from upset parents at school board meetings.   

But it gets worse, as the policy concentrates all authority on library selections with media specialists and ensures zero oversight or governance. In fact, board members have stated they “trust the experts” so much, they do not feel they are ultimately accountable for library collections, as they are with curriculum.  Case in point, the phantom requirement to provide an annual report to the board.  Over the course of several board meetings, the board was not able to identify a single metric or measure to include in that report.  Several parents suggested they would appreciate a list of new and retired titles.  However, the policy committee members declared that it was too cumbersome for the “trusted experts” to track the expected 8,000 annual title changes. Yet they are on record suggesting the solution is for parents to do a year-over-year comparative analysis on all 165,000 titles.

Despite significant flaws and numerous unanswered concerns, the board abruptly shut down debate at the most recent board meeting.  Rather than discuss further in subsequent policy committee meetings as promised, the board moved to approve the policy as-is at the March 18th meeting. Speak up now before it is too late.

Contact the school board to demand they act responsibly to create a policy that engages parents rather than demonizes them for wanting to protect children from harmful influences.  

District 271 Contacts

School Board - Nelly Korman - Heather Starks - Tom Bennett - Mia Olson - Dawn Steigauf - Matt Dymoke - Beth Beebe - Main school Board

Superintendent & Assistant Superintendent - Eric Melbye  952-681-6402 - Jenna Mitchler  952-681-6476

Executive Assistant, District & School Board - Kimsure Lofton   952-681-6402

District Phone 952-681-6400