DIXFIELD — The Regional School Unit 56 board of directors voted 7-1 Tuesday to approve an additional step in the policy on selecting instructional and library media materials, giving the superintendent the final say on what to allow in the Dirigo High School Library.

Kathleen Szostek of Dixfield was the only one voting against the procedure.

“This is not going to solve the issue of explicit sexual content,” she said during the meeting at the high school. “And as long as quote ‘reputable’ reviews don’t note the pornography in the books, books like “Gender Queer” (“Gender Queer: A Memoir,” by Maia Kobabe) will continue to be on our shelves.”

The procedure will be added to the selection process, so if school librarians read inconsistent or conflicting reviews of a book, it would be sent to the superintendent to consider.

Director Liz Kelly of Dixfield voted to pass the procedure, even though she said before the vote that she felt more should be done to help parents and give them “options to say yes … or no” whether their children could access library books with or without their parents’ approval.

At the March 12 board meeting, Superintendent Pam Doyen said the additional step in the policy “gives it another little stopgap to stop and think about this book; so, it goes to the administration to determine. They would then do their reviews, they would read the book, they would determine if they felt like it still needed to be in the library or not.”

She also said at that meeting that district librarians thought the new procedure would be “an unnecessary step” because they already have professionals reviewing books.

Voting for the procedure were Kelly, Don Whittemore of Carthage, Larry Whittington of Dixfield, Joy Bradbury of Peru, Tim Kelly of Dixfield, Natalie Sneller of Canton, and Chairman Barbara Chow of Dixfield.

Absent were Tina Courtway and Deanna Dolloff, both of Peru, Carl Lueders of Canton and Brad Dyer of Carthage.

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