Superintendent Mittelstadt bans "All Boys Aren't Blue" from school bookshelves pending establishment of new approval process

Mittelstadt approved the review committee's decision to return the other three books to media center shelves.

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  • | 12:22 p.m. December 7, 2021
  • Palm Coast Observer
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Flagler Schools Superintendent Cathy Mittelstadt has taken action on four books that were requested to be reviewed by a member of the Flagler County School Board. The books were "All Boys Aren’t Blue," "The Hate U Give," "Speak," and "Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You." 

In accordance with School Board Policy 414, the District Media Review Committee for secondary schools was convened to review objectively un-emotionally and in a business-like manner the content and subject matter of the aforementioned books. 

Superintendent Mittelstadt sends her gratitude to those on that committee. “I thank LaShakia Moore, our Director of Teaching and Learning, the parents who volunteered to be a part of this process, and our district staff. I reviewed their recommendation and used that in my final decision.”

"The Hate U Give," "Speak," and "Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You" will return to media center shelves. However, Superintendent Mittelsdtadt has informed the complainant (School Board member Jill Woolbright) and the School Board "All Boys Aren’t Blue" will not be returned, pending the establishment of a clear process for approving media of a sensitive nature. 

In making this decision, Superintendent Mittlestadt says, “Director Moore and her team is prepared and is developing procedures that we want to communicate to our Board, to our staff, and our community, parents, and students so that they know how to appropriately go through and have an opportunity to access materials that may be sensitive in nature, with the parents having a part in the decision-making process. In Flagler Schools, that does not exist right now, as a district, systematically throughout all of our schools. I think it’s critically important until we have the procedure in place, that particular book should be pulled from the availability of our students to access it.”

Moving forward, Superintendent Mittelstadt adds, “I believe in a procedure to give our parents the opportunity to participate in that process. It is important that we look at how the author has described his book in the prologue, in addition, he has made public comments as to the age-appropriateness of this book, is 10th, 11th, and 12th grade. Our high schools are 9th through 12th grade. So we would need to create a procedure within our school media centers that have age-appropriate locations for sensitive matters within our school buildings. We can achieve that and we will.”

The complainant has the option to challenge the Superintendent’s decision. Should that happen, the appeal would go to the Flagler County School Board.



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