Mansfield schools considering new guidelines on library books about gender, sexuality

Mansfield school trustees will consider new guidelines on challenging library materials and limiting content involving gender fluidity and sexually explicit materials.

Trustees will discuss the policy during Tuesday’s board meeting, which starts at 6 p.m. at the Center for Performing Arts, 1110 W. Debbie Lane.

The policy must go through two readings before the board can vote to adopt it.

District officials could not be reached immediately Monday.

The policy under consideration is similar to guidelines that the Keller school district adopted last year.

According to the proposed Mansfield policy, students are encouraged to “self select books and other materials, but the ultimate decision on what is appropriate lies with parents and their children.

All library selections will be posted online so that parents and the public can review them.

Trustees can also request information on materials by contacting the superintendent or a designee who would contact the campus library supervisor to obtain professional reviews of the library materials.

Parents, students 18 or older, district employees or any resident can challenge library books and materials if they believe the content doesn’t meet policy guidelines.

The materials would be reviewed by a committee of people appointed by each board member who are not district employees, as well as teachers and librarians from the grade level where the book is challenged. If materials meet the policy standards, no one can challenge them for a year unless legal guidelines change. If the materials are removed, they will not be reconsidered for five years.

The proposed guidelines also list 14 themes such as gender fluidity, bullying, drug and alcohol use among minors and adults and whether the content would be allowed at specific grade levels.