On November 8th, the State Board of Education (SBE) released a proposed change to the regulations regarding selection of instructional materials.
Historically, the SBE oversees the selection of textbooks, but local policies have guided the selection of additional instructional materials, such as library books and other classroom materials.
The draft regulation released on Wednesday would take control away from schools and districts and place it in the hands of the SBE.
This proposed regulation establishes two main guidelines for instructional materials:
- Age and developmentally appropriate: materials must be "suitable to particular age groups...based on developing cognitive, and behavioral capacity typical for the age group." The proposal also states that a material is not age appropriate if it contains visual depictions or descriptions of "sexual conduct" as defined in state statute or if it is considered "indecent" or "obscene" under the broadcast guidelines for the Federal Communications Commission.
- Educationally suitable: the material must be aligned with the "instructional program of the school and district," which means it must be connected to the standards laid out in the Profile of a South Carolina Graduate.
Under this definition, classic works of literature such as Romeo and Juliet, The Odyssey, The Scarlet Letter, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, and others would be prohibited materials.
Tell the State Board of Education to vote NO on this proposed regulation!