Earlier this year, a local organization initiated a formal challenge of 16 books that are available in some Polk County Public Schools libraries.
In response, PCPS assembled two public committees and asked them to review the content of the books, and vote on whether they should be retained or removed from our libraries.
The review process has now concluded. The committees’ votes have all been submitted, and PCPS Superintendent Frederick Heid has issued his recommendations as well. To see the superintendent’s recommendation for each book, visit polkschoolsfl.com/bookreview.
The Polk County School Board is not required to vote on the superintendent’s recommendations; the school board as a matter of policy and practice does not approve school-level media materials.
The superintendent’s recommendations will stand. However, the challenged books will not yet be returned to our school libraries.
PCPS is creating an opt-in/opt-out system that will allow parents to select which titles their children can access from school libraries. This system will be finalized during the summer and in place for the 2022-23 school year. Parents will be able to make their selections as part of the back-to-school preparations at the beginning of the 2022-23 school year.
PCPS would like to thank the members of the review committees who volunteered so much of their time, energy and expertise during the past two months. We also wish to thank our community for their support and patience throughout this time.
Complete information about the book review process is available at polkschoolsfl.com/bookreview. It includes background details, information on the committees and their votes, a list of the challenged books, meeting recordings, and the superintendent’s recommendations.