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6161.2 Complaints Regarding Instructional Materials


Northfield, New Jersey Monitored


Policy X Other Reasons





The Northfield Board of Education recognizes the rights of the student to free access to many different types of books and other materials. It is the responsibility of the administrator to provide a wide range of materials with diversity of appeal and the presentation of different points of view on varying levels of difficulty. The board also recognizes the responsibility of teachers and administrators to select books and other materials in accordance with current trends in education and to make them available in the schools. Books and other materials shall be chosen for values, interest, appropriateness and enlightenment of all students of the community.


The board recognizes that opinions may differ on the appropriateness of any given instructional materials and equipment. Occasionally an individual or group may find instructional materials used in the schools that conflict with their views. Any resident of this district shall have the right to present a request, suggestion or complaint in reference to the physical plant, playgrounds, subject matter or instructional materials.


The Superintendent of Schools shall develop procedures to give careful consideration to such requests, suggestions or complaints. These procedures shall provide that:


A. All such requests, suggestions or complaints shall be submitted in writing;

B. Whenever possible the process be initiated and solved at the lowest effective level;

C. District response is courteous and prompt;

D. Successive steps of appeal and mechanisms for review are available when necessary.


The use of challenged materials or equipment by class or school shall not be restricted until a final decision has been reached.


The final decision on controversial reading material shall rest with the board after careful examination and discussion of the book or reading matter with school officials or others the board may wish to involve.


Adopted: June 2, 1997

NJSBA Review/Update: December 2009

Readopted: October 24, 2011


Key Words


Instructional Materials, Complaints Regarding Instructional Materials, Complaints, Censorship


Legal Reference: N.J.S.A. 18A:11-1 General mandatory powers and duties

N.J.S.A. 18A:54-20 Powers of board (county vocational schools)


Board of Education Island Trees U.F.S.D. v. Pico, 457 U.S. 853 (1982)



Cross References: *1312 Community complaints and inquiries

*6144 Controversial issues

*6161.1 Guidelines for evaluation and selection of instructional materials


*Indicates policy is included in the Critical Policy Reference Manual.