Two more books that were challenged as inappropriate for those under 18 should be returned to Polk County middle and high school libraries, two review committees recommended. The Ledger reports that “Thirteen Reasons Why” got 16 votes out of 18 for return to middle and high schools, and “Real Live Boyfriends” got 14 votes out of 18 for return to those libraries. So far, the committees have reviewed 10 of the 16 challenged books; none has been recommended removed from all schools. The Polk School Board is scheduled to vote on April 26 on the fate of the books that the committees have reviewed so far.
- CHALLENGED BOOKS: Two more books that were challenged as inappropriate for those under 18 should be returned to Polk County middle and high school libraries, two review committees recommended. The nonfiction ”It’s Perfectly Normal” got 14 votes out of 18 for return to middle and high schools, and the novel “Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close” got 12 votes out of 18 for return to those libraries. So far, the committees have reviewed eight of the 16 challenged books; none has been recommended removed from all schools.
- CHARTER SCHOOL: Polk’s planning commission approved a site plan for Texas-based IDEA Public Schools’ planned charter school on the west side of Reynolds Road midway between Main Street and Skyview Drive (map). The school, set to open next year, would serve 1,645 K-12 students (Subscribers-only story).
Daily conversations with her family in Ukraine and images of war prompted Florida Southern College student Maria Rezhylo to work with the Student Government Association to collect medical goods and monetary donations to be sent to her homeland, News Channel 8 reports. Medical supplies are being collected on campus through April 7 and monetary donations can be made online; if donating online, add “Ukraine Project” in the “other section” field.
A historical marker designating Kathleen Middle School as a Polk County Heritage Site was installed this week at the school, which opened in 1928 as Kathleen School. In its early years, the school served students in grades 1 to 12, extending education in the Kathleen community past the eight grade for the first time. More
The books “Drama” by Raina Telgemeier and “The Kite Runner” by Khaled Hosseini should be retained in libraries of Polk public middle and high schools, two advisory committees voted Thursday. They were the first two books reviewed of 16 removed from school libraries following complaints that they were harmful to minors or inappropriate. The Polk School Board will have the final decision. “The Kite Runner” had been available only in middle and high school libraries; “Drama” had been available in 35 libraries, the most of any of the challenged books, with a small handful below the middle school level.
The Lakeland Christian School Vikings girls soccer team won its second straight state 3A championship, With a 2-1 win over the Benjamin School Buccaneers. The Vikings’ first goal was scored by junior Kaelyn Diaz, who leads the team in scoring, 10 Tampa Bay reports.
Roughly three dozen people gathered along Bartow Road on Friday to protest state legislation that would place restrictions on teaching about sexual orientation or gender identity, News Channel 8 reports. Critics say the legislation, which they call the “Don’t Say Gay” bill, will stigmatize LGBTQ students. Proponents say it gives parents the right to discuss the topics with their children as they see fit. The bill passed the state House, with all of Polk’s representatives voting in favor, and now heads to the Senate. More
The Polk Museum of Art at Florida Southern college today announced a $6 million, 10,000-square-foot expansion that will triple the gallery space and add classrooms and art labs. More
Recent changes to Polk Public Schools’ reproductive health curriculum allow parents to opt out of sex education discussions. Parents of high school and middle school students will be notified of sex education topics a week in advance and can opt out under a policy approved unanimously by the Polk School Board on Jan. 25, WUSF News reports. The schools superintendent said that will allow parents to discuss the topics at home, but some advocates fear home discussions might not take place or impart incorrect information. ALSO: Ledger coverage
Applications are now available for parents, community members and students who want to be part of the two committees reviewing 16 books that were removed from Polk public school library shelves recently. More