Cheyenne, WY (RELEASE from WDE) November 6, 2023 — State Superintendent Megan Degenfelder and the Wyoming Department of Education (WDE) have released the guidance for Establishing or Modifying Library Material Policy as outlined in the 2023-2027 WDE Strategic Plan.
School districts can utilize this meaningful guidance to evaluate or implement their own policies to best serve their communities, through local school district control. The guide also serves to help parents understand how these policies are created and how they can participate in the process. The guide was created by a statewide stakeholder group, including librarians, teachers, parents, administrators, district and state school board members and business leaders.
“Superintendent Degenfelder’s exemplary leadership has shone brightly in the development of the guidance for Establishing or Modifying Library Material Policy”, said Jay Curtis, Superintendent of Park County School District #1. “Her commitment to transparency and the inclusion of stakeholder voices has fostered an environment where every voice is not only heard but valued, resulting in a document that truly reflects the needs and aspirations of our state. In addition, the guidance document reinforces complete local control over the creation of those policies, which allows for a product that is reflective of local voices and values in our unique communities across Wyoming.”
Degenfelder also shares what she believes are fundamental elements to any library material policy: that sexually explicit material should not be available in K-12 schools, parents having an absolute right to restrict access to any material they find inappropriate for their child, maximum transparency of material and creation of policy, and uniform application to all sexual orientations- not as a tool to discriminate.
“When I campaigned across the state of Wyoming for State Superintendent of Public Instruction, there were few issues that I heard about more from citizens than concerns about inappropriate materials and books in schools,” says Degenfelder. “There is absolutely no room in the classroom for inappropriate materials or influences. We must protect our children and we must protect public education.”
The overarching practices presented in the guidance ensure districts are meaningfully engaged with parents and the community when implementing or updating policy and equipped to draft sound policy. View the policy here.