Wake County Finalizes Policy 3210 for Challenging Books

Wake County schools lengthens book and educational material challenge procedures. 

Cancel culture has made its way to the world of literature, with Wake County Public School System’s reading material being the latest local topic of discussion. But the latest rules may make it harder for people to challenge books and instructional materials they find offensive or inappropriate for educational settings. Earlier this week, WCPSS finalized revisions to Policy 3210, which requires those who challenge materials to schedule a meeting with the principal. Previously, only a written objection had to be submitted to formally dispute materials.  

Even though the policy revision makes filing an objection more time consuming, parents now have more time to submit a request for reconsideration after the required meeting (20 days), as opposed to the previous 10-day period. If no request is submitted within the deadline, the case is considered closed. 

Furthermore, after receiving a formal request for reconsideration, a committee consisting of a media coordinator, two teachers familiar with the material, a school counselor, two parents and the principal will read the material in full, examine the objection and deliberate their findings at a public meeting. 

If the material violates the rights of the student or the parents, the family will be accommodated. If the material is deemed indecent, access will be limited or it will be removed. The decision will be binding for two years, meaning no one may challenge the material until the two-year period is complete. 

So far, only five books have gone through the entire formal process in Wake County since 2021, and all five remain on shelves. The five targeted books all focus predominantly on people of color and LGBTQ characters. To wit, on a national level, 41% of banned titles have LGBTQ themes or characters and 40% feature characters of color. Only time will tell how WCPSS’ bookshelves stack up. 

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Angela Brown
Angela Brown is the author of our Business & Economy section.