District Procedures to Reinforce Parental Rights to Request the Appointment of a Special Magistrate Regarding Materials Used in Classroom or School Libraries under s. 1006.28(2)(a)2., F.S.
Charlotte County Public Schools believes that parents have a fundamental right to be involved in and to guide educational decisions for their children. The procedures listed below are designed to provide a pathway for parents to communicate objections to any type of material made available to a student in a school library, included on a school, grade, or classroom reading list, or used in a classroom via a Special Magistrate.
A Special Magistrate will not be appointed for parental objections to instructional materials that were adopted by the school district or are in the process of adoption by the school district using district procedures for public review and comment as required by ss. 1006.40(4) and 1006.283(2)(b)8., 9., and 11., F.S.
The special magistrate process is available to determine whether the district considered a parental objection under procedures that meet the requirements of s. 1006.28(2)(a), F.S. Relief available to a parent under the special magistrate process does not include the removal of material or limiting student access to material.
A parent/guardian or resident who has an objection to the use of a specific non-state-adopted instructional material accessed in the classroom and/or the school library must first request, in writing, a meeting with the principal to discuss the use of the materials. The principal will schedule the meeting within ten (10) school days of receiving the request. The principal shall consider the criteria of F.S. 1006.28 and 1006.40(3)(d) in considering resolution. The principal will review the objection and may meet with the teacher, school library media specialist and/or parents/resident, or both, in an attempt to resolve the objection, using an alternative instructional material, if applicable.
If the objection is not resolved, the principal shall notify the Assistant Superintendent for Learning and will refer the petitioner to the district’s "Request for Reconsideration of Materials" form available in each school office and on the district website. A petitioner who does not complete and return the form to the Division of Learning as stated on the form shall receive no consideration. If the Petitioner's concerns are not resolved at the school level, and the "Request for Reconsideration Form" (Form 2522-2) is received by the Division of Learning, a District Materials Review Committee shall be appointed by the Superintendent/designee to review the petitioner's objection to the specific material.
Meetings of the District Materials Review Committee must be noticed and open to the public in accordance with s.286.011. The Committee's recommendation shall be submitted to the Superintendent within twenty (20) District working days.
The Petitioner may request an appeal before the Board by filing a written request with the Superintendent within fifteen (15) working days of the date of the Superintendent's written notification. The Board shall review the appeal within thirty (30) days. In its review of the appeal, the Board shall consider the recommendation(s) from the District Material Review Committee and the Superintendent's determination and shall render the final decision on the Petition's appeal within thirty (30) days of the appeal. If the Board finds that the appeal is warranted and upheld, the district shall discontinue the use of the material for any grade level or age group for which such use is inappropriate or unsuitable, or place such restrictions on the circulation of the material as the Board deems reasonable. The Board's decision affects all schools within the district.
If a parent disagrees with the determination made by the Board on the objection to the use of a specific material, a parent may request the Commissioner of Education to appoint a special magistrate.
Parent Procedures to request appointment of a Special Magistrate:
(a) Complete the Parental Request for Appointment of a Special Magistrate for Materials Used in Classroom or School Libraries, Form No. SM-MAT (http://www.flrules.org/Gateway/reference.asp?No=Ref-15891) (effective September 2023).
(b) Demonstrate that before filing the Parental Request, the parent filed an objection with the school board and the school board has either ruled on the objection or has failed to timely process the objection under s. 1006.28(2)(a)2., F.S., and the procedures adopted by the school board;
(c) Describe the nature of the original objection submitted to the district, including the title and ISBN of the specific material objected to and the reason for the objection;
(d) Describe how the district failed to establish an adequate policy to address objections to materials as required by s. 1006.28(2)(a)2., F.S., or failed to follow that policy when resolving the objection; and
(e) Describe the resolution sought from the Special Magistrate and the State Board of Education.
Within fifteen (15) days of receipt of notice from the Florida Department of Education that a parent has requested the appointment of a Special Magistrate, provide to the Department the following:
- The procedure adopted by the school board to address the parent’s objection, including a web address where the procedures can be found;
- A description of the parent’s use of these procedures, including the nature of the objection submitted to the district and the district’s decision on the objection;
- A description of any school district remedies that remain available to the parent to resolve the objection; and
- A statement identifying any of the grounds for dismissal of the request for appointment of a special magistrate.
The district will expeditiously contract for payment of a Special Magistrate appointed by the Commissioner and notify the Department within twenty (20) days after receiving notice of the appointment of a Special Magistrate that an agreement has been reached for payment with the appointed Special Magistrate.
Florida Department of Education Procedures:
Upon receipt of the Parental Request, the Department will:
- Review the form and provide an opportunity for the parent to provide missing or supplemental information within twenty (20) days of mailing of a Departmental notice that missing or supplemental information is needed;
- Notify the school district of receipt of the Parental Request; and
- Provide written notice to the parent and school district if a Special Magistrate has been appointed or the request has been dismissed.
The Department may dismiss the Parental Request under the following circumstances:
- The parent notifies the Department that the objection has been resolved or withdrawn;
- The Parental Request form has not been substantially completed, after the opportunity to provide missing or supplemental information has been provided;
- The parent has not demonstrated full and complete use of school and school district procedures adopted by the district under s. 1006.28(2)(a), F.S., for resolving the objection;
- The parent fails to allege that the district either failed to create a policy as required by s. 1006.28(2)(a)2., F.S., or did not follow the policy when ruling on the objection; or
- The parent failed to maintain accurate contact information with the Department or the Special Magistrate.
DOL/CE/9.14.23/SBE Rule 6A-1.094126