Updated: Dec 9, 2022
NEPN/NSBA Code: IMB-R
STUDY OF CONTROVERSIAL ISSUES GUIDELINES
The teaching of controversial issues requires responsible action on the part of the teacher to his/her students, the principal to the school, and the school to the community.
Teachers shall adhere to the following guidelines:
A. The issue shall be within the framework of MSAD #60 district philosophy and reasonably related to the established instructional program.
B. The issue shall be consistent with the students’ maturity and educational needs.
C. The discussion shall contribute significantly to developing the skills of critical thinking and problem solving.
D. The presentation of the material shall be impartial and objective.
E. Materials shall be based upon factual information and a variety of viewpoints.
F. Teachers shall consult with the principal before presenting controversial issues.
In the event that a concern with the teaching of a controversial issue is expressed, the following procedure shall be followed:
A. Discussion with School Principal
1. A conference will be held between the person expressing a concern (citizen, student, or parent), the teacher and the principal in an attempt to resolve the issue and to promote mutual understanding.
2. The principal will prepare a written report on the results of this conference and submit said report to the Superintendent’s office. A copy will also be provided to the citizen/student/parent and the teacher involved.
1. If the result of the initial conference with the principal is unsatisfactory to the complainant or teacher involved, he/she may submit a written appeal to the Superintendent.
2. The Superintendent will refer the complaint to a Review Committee. The Committee membership will be appointed by the Superintendent and will include a
parent, a representative from the appropriate Curriculum Review Team and an Assistant Superintendent.
3. The Review Committee shall meet with the concerned parties, examine conflicting views and prepare a report. The report shall contain the recommendation of the Committee.
4. The Superintendent will review the report, make a decision about the complaint, and forward the decision to the parties and the Review Committee.
C. Final Appeal to the Board of Directors
1. If the decision of the Superintendent does not satisfy the complainant or teacher, the complainant may request in writing that the Board review the appeal at the next regularly-scheduled Board meeting.
2. The Board will review the Review Committee report, the decision of the Superintendent, and the appeal of the complainant/teacher involved, and make such investigation as the Board deems necessary. The Board will make a final determination on the complaint, and all parties will receive notification of the results in writing.
D. Second Challenge
If the same issue is challenged at a future date, the principal and a representative of the Review Committee will examine the previous decision in light of any new information presented. If they find any significant difference in the new challenge, the Review Committee may review the matter again. Otherwise, the original decision will stand, and a copy will be sent to the complainant, explaining that the issue has already been evaluated.
Adopted: April 30, 1992
Revised: February 1, 2001
Updated: December 17, 2015