Newport News Public Schools

Media Complaint Procedure

How to Submit an Objection

Procedure for Parental Complaints about Library Media Materials

School Board Policy IJ-P governs the selection of materials for library media centers.

Individuals occasionally may object to library materials, despite the care taken by qualified librarians to select engaging and appropriate materials for student and teacher use. The principles of the freedom to read and the professional responsibility to provide relevant resources must be considered as well as the challenge to the materials.

A parent who wishes to state an objection to a specific item may address his concern to the Library Media Specialist or Principal of the child’s school.

If the parent desires to take further action, the librarian will provide a packet of informational materials including the Citizen's Request for Reconsideration of Educational Media form. To activate formal reconsideration of the media in question, the complainant must return the completed form to the school within 7 days. If the form is not received within 7 days, the complaint will be closed.

No duly selected material whose appropriateness is challenged will be removed from library shelves during the reconsideration process, which is outlined below. However, the child (children) of the parents making the complaint may be denied access to challenged materials, if desired by the complainant.

The Principal will inform the appropriate Executive Director and the Chief Academic Officer of the complaint.

Within 30 days, a committee consisting of the Principal (or designee), a reading specialist, faculty representatives, the librarian, a parent, and a student, as appropriate, will:

  1. Read and examine materials referred to the committee.
  2. Check general acceptance of the materials by reading reviews and selection aids.
  3. Weigh values and faults against each other and form opinions based on the material as a whole rather than passages pulled out of context.
  4. Meet and discuss the appropriateness of the material to the curriculum and prepare a written report on it along with the decision of the media committee.
  5. File a copy of the report with the Principal, the appropriate Executive Director, and the Chief Academic Officer.
  6. Report to the complainant the decision of the school media committee.

If the complainant wishes to appeal the school committee’s decision, the complaint is referred to the Supervisor of Library Media Services who will convene the Division Evaluation Committee.

The Division Evaluation Committee (consisting of an Executive Director or Chief Academic Officer, Supervisor of Library Media Services, appropriate instructional supervisor(s), parents, and students as appropriate) will follow the same procedures used by the school media committee. The findings of the Division Evaluation Committee will be submitted to the Superintendent of Newport News Public Schools.

  1. The Superintendent will make appropriate recommendations to the School Board.
  2. The School Board will act to retain, modify or withdraw challenged materials.
  3. Notification of action taken will be sent to the complainant.

If a building administrator files a complaint regarding library materials, the procedures for review will remain the same, except that a media review committee will be appointed by the Chief Academic Officer and will consist of members who do not serve in the school under the supervision of the complainant. The media committee in such a case will be chaired by the Supervisor of Library Media Services. All appeal procedures will remain the same.