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Votes

Past Challenges

Since 1983, there have been 12 challenges to materials found in the local schools brought before the Fairfax County School Board.

* Dec. 15, 1983, "Gentlehands," by M.E. Kerr.

Challenge: To remove book from FCPS.

Result: Denied appeal to remove the book by unanimous vote.

* June 24, 1993, "Jump Ship to Freedom," by James Lincoln Collier and Christopher Collier.

Result: Challenge had been resolved at area superintendent's level and never reached the superintendent or School Board. However, Robert Frye (At large) made a motion on June 24, 1993, to make the book available to sixth- graders and all middle or secondary schools. The motion passed unanimously. A motion made in October of that year to make the book available to elementary school teachers as a teaching tool subject to selected guidelines failed by a vote of 3-8.

* Sept. 8, 1994, "Elements of Literature, Second Course," published by Holt, Rinehart and Winston. Eighth-grade basal anthology adopted by the School Board in March 1993.

Challenge: To remove the textbook from all FCPS middle schools.

Result: Upheld assistant superintendent of instructional services' recommendation to continue use of the textbook in all middle schools by a vote of 10-1.

* May 29, 1997, "Biological Science: A Molecular Approach," BSCS Blue Version textbook.

Challenge: Request for a disclaimer to be inserted in the front of the textbook because of the unscientific treatment given to evolution and creationism.

Result: Upheld the area-level recommendation to retain the textbook and not place a disclaimer inside by a vote of 6-4.

* July 14, 1997, "The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn," by Mark Twain.

Challenge: Use as required reading for 11th-grade students at McLean High School.

Result: Upheld area-level decision to retain book in the curriculum, with option provided to read other texts, and with the recommendation that supporting information and materials about teaching the book be provided to all 11th-grade English teachers. Vote was unanimous.

* Aug. 11, 1999, "On The Devil's Court," by Carl Deuker.

Challenge: Inclusion of the book in the Virginia Run Elementary School library in the Young Adult section.

Result: Upheld the area-level decision to retain the book in the Young Adult section in the school library by a vote of 5-3.

* Dec. 20, 1999, "The Agony of Alice," by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor.

Challenge: Inclusion of the book in fifth-grade classrooms at the library at Franklin Sherman Elementary School.

Result: Upheld area-level decision to retain the book with specific guidelines governing its use. The vote was 8-1.

* March 16, 2000, "Daughters of Eve," by Lois Duncan.

Challenge: Inclusion of the book in FCPS libraries.

Result: Modified the area-level decision by retaining the book only in high-school libraries for students in ninth grade or higher by a vote of 7-5.

* April 6, 2000, "Language & Literature," English textbook published by McDougal, Littell and Company.

Challenge: Use of a particular sentence on page 777 as a grammar exercise; also a request to create a video to be shown in seventh grade where the textbook is used.

Result: Upheld the assistant superintendent of instructional services' recommendation to deny the challenge by a unanimous vote. The book was scheduled for replacement in the near future.

* Feb. 13, 2001, "Druids," by Morgan Llywelyn.

Challenge: Inclusion of the book in FCPS middle and high school libraries.

Result: Supported the superintendent's recommendation to restrict the book to high-school libraries by a vote of 9-2.

* June 25, 2001, "The Pillars of the Earth," by Ken Follett.

Challenge: Inclusion of the book in FCPS libraries.

Result: Voted to restrict the availability to 10th- through 12th-grade students only by vote of 7-4.

* April 22, 2002, "Gates of Fire," by Steven Pressfield.

Challenge: Inclusion of textbook in all FCPS libraries and curriculum countywide.

Result: School Board declined to make a motion, thereby denying the challenge.