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Controversy in Wicomico County over obscene, explicit books in schools

Books on a shelf
Posted at 2:03 PM, Jun 02, 2023
and last updated 2023-06-02 14:03:57-04

SALISBURY, Md. — There's an ongoing controversy in Wicomico County where the public school system is being accused of allowing students access to "obscene and sexually explicit" books.

A petition to have the books removed was recently started by the Delmarva Parent Teacher Coalition.

The group alleges the Board of Education and County Superintendent have ignored concerns raised by parents.

"This is not an issue of censorship and book banning, but the violation of existing school policy, state, federal, and Constitutional laws that define the boundaries of appropriateness," the petition states.

Wicomico County Executive and former school teacher, Julie Giordano, has since weighed in on the allegations.

"I want to make it known that I do not support the use of obscene materials anywhere in our schools," Giordano wrote in a letter addressed to County citizens. "I do not want them used in the classroom, whether holistically or in literature circles, nor do I want them housed in school or classroom libraries."

Giordano added there's already a process in place for concerned parents wishing to address the issue.

First they can contact the teacher requesting their child be given alternative assignments with different reading materials.

In the case a parent wants a book removed entirely, Giordano urged them to get in touch with the school principal so they can review the content.

If still not satisfied, the parent is always welcome to appeal to the school's superintendent, before taking the issue before the County Board of Education.

According to their Curriculum, Instructional, and Media Materials Policy, the Wicomico County Board of Education (WCBOE) states this on their website.

"It is the policy of WCBOE to provide for its students a comprehensive selection of materials which support curricular goals and objectives and reflect the needs, varied interests, abilities, and maturity levels of the diverse student population it serves. These materials should also support the mission, vision, educational philosophy, beliefs, and values endorsed by WCBOE."

To read more about the school system's selection and review process for instructional materials and media resources, click here.