Central Bucks School Board votes in favor of controversial book plan

Central Bucks School Board votes in favor of controversial book plan

DOYLESTOWN, Pa. (WPVI) — The Central Bucks School Board passed a controversial book plan Tuesday night.

The board voted in favor of the plan 6-3.

The new policy calls for the creation of a committee that would determine which reading materials would be appropriate for small children, as opposed to high schoolers.

Superintendent Dr. Abram Lucabaugh says the “library materials policy” is designed to give parents a stronger voice with regard to what their children are exposed to at school.

He says the point is not to remove books from schools but to make sure that any material that includes explicit or sexual content, in particular, is limited according to the ages of the children who have access to it.

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It is at the heart of the political and cultural wars affecting public schools. Namely, which books should be available in the library and which should not.

Now, the Central Bucks School District finds itself in the middle of this issue.

Superintendent Dr. Abram Lucabaugh says the impending “library materials policy” is designed to give parents a stronger voice with regard to what their children are exposed to at school.

He says the point is not to remove books from schools but to make sure that any material that includes explicit or sexual content, in particular, is limited according to the ages of the children who have access to it.

The school board will be voting on the policy Tuesday night.

“The focus of the policy tonight is rooted in age appropriateness to ensure that it is aligned with our content and our curriculum,” said Lucabaugh.

If passed, the new policy would call for the creation of a committee that would determine which reading materials would be appropriate for small children, as opposed to high schoolers.

“They will be people from within our district. So, we will lean on the expertise of our librarians, the expertise of our teachers,” said Lucabaugh.

But opponents say this is a thinly veiled invitation to censorship and will result in certain books being banned.

In fact, the American Civil Liberties Union released a statement regarding the situation saying, “Application of this policy will almost certainly result in unconstitutional censorship. And such censorship will assuredly attract federal court lawsuits.”

Action News spoke with people who live within the district, some of whom say removing books from libraries never leads to anything good.

“You can set up a committee that says this is OK and this isn’t. Then that opens up a whole flood gate of things that can censor things and ought not to be,” said Gregory James of Bucks County.

Daniele Compain of Doylestown says, “I think it’s a bad thing. You shouldn’t censor books. To me, it’s against the Constitution.”

Others say, there is nothing wrong with an oversight system, especially when it comes to children in kindergarten through 4th grade.

“The library is a place where everybody can go and enjoy and read and have fun, and I think they should, probably, be careful what goes in there. That’s my opinion. Not censorship, but just check to see what’s going on there, said Jim Garvey of Doylestown.

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