Revised September 2023
The following definitions apply in this policy:
- “Learning material” means any learning material or resource used to deliver or support a student’s learning, including textbooks, reading materials, videos, digital materials, websites, and other online applications.
- “Instructional material” means learning material which is approved by the Board of Education for use in District schools It does not include learning material used in a concurrent enrollment, advanced placement, or international baccalaureate program or class or another class with required instructional material that is not subject to selection by the Board of Education.
- “Supplemental material” means learning material that an educator selects for classroom use which the Board of Education has not considered and adopted, approved, or prohibited for classroom use.
- “School setting” means on school property (including but not limited to classrooms or a school library) or (regardless of location) an activity sponsored by the District or a school but which is conducted by an organization which is not part of the District. Such activities can include but are not limited to an assembly, a guest lecture, a live presentation, or another event.
- “Pornographic or indecent” means material that meets any of the following:
- Any description or representation, in whatsoever form, of nudity, sexual conduct, sexual excitement, or sadomasochistic abuse which, taken as a whole, appeals to the prurient interest in sex of minors, is patently offensive to the prevailing standards in the adult community as a whole with respect to what is suitable material for minors, and taken as a whole does not have serious value for minors (which includes only serious literary, artistic, political, or scientific value for minors);
- A material or performance which the average person, applying contemporary community standards, finds that, taken as a whole, appeals to prurient interest in sex, is patently offensive in the description of nudity, sexual conduct, sexual excitement, sadomasochistic abuse, or excretion, and does not have serious literary, artistic, political, or scientific value;
- A description or depiction of: human genitals in a state of sexual stimulation or arousal; acts of human masturbation, sexual intercourse, or sodomy; fondling or other erotic touching of human genitals or pubic region; or fondling or other erotic touching of the human buttock or female breast; or
- A description or depiction of a nude or partially denuded figure, which means human male genitals in a discernibly turgid state (even if completely or opaquely covered) or less than completely and opaquely covered human genitals, pubic region, buttock, or female breast below a point immediately above the top of the areola, where the material containing the nudity, taken as a whole, does not have serious literary, artistic, political, or scientific value for minors, taking into consideration the ages of all minors who could be exposed to the material.
- “Nudity” means the showing of the human male or female genitals, pubic area, or buttocks, with less than an opaque covering, or the showing of the female breast with less than an opaque covering, or any portion of the female breast below the top of the areola; or the depiction of covered male genitals in a discernibly turgid state.
- “Sexual conduct” means acts of masturbation, sexual intercourse, or any touching of a person’s clothed or unclothed genitals, pubic area, buttocks, or, if the person is a female, breast, whether alone or between members of the same or opposite sex or between humans and animals in an act of apparent or actual sexual stimulation or gratification.
- “Sexual excitement” means a condition of the human male or female genitals when in a state of sexual stimulation or arousal, or the sensual experiences of humans engaging in or witnessing sexual conduct or activity.
- “Sadomasochistic abuse” means flagellation or torture by or upon a person who is nude or clad in undergarments, a mask, or in a revealing or bizarre costume or the condition of being fettered, bound, or otherwise physically restrained on the part of a person clothed in this way.
- “Appeals to the prurient interest” means erotic in some significant way to the average person and having the capacity to provoke sexual responses over and beyond those that would be characterized as normal.
- “Age appropriate” means generally suitable for students of the same age or level of social, emotional, and cognitive development when taking into consideration the ages of all minors who could be exposed to the material.
- “Instructional material review committee” means a committee formed at the District or school level, as determined by the Superintendent, appointed as needed and consisting of an administrator or administrators, educators, and at least two parents. An administrator member of the committee shall serve as the committee chair. Parents appointed to an instructional material review committee shall be reflective of the members of the relevant school community and shall have a student who attends a District school.
Utah Admin. Rules R277-468-3(1), (2) (November 7, 2022)
Adoption of instructional material—
Except for adoption of instructional material within the scope of Policy ECH, the following process shall be followed in adopting instructional material for use in the District or a particular school in the District. The Superintendent or Superintendent’s designee shall determine what learning material to recommend to the Board of Education for approval for use, taking into consideration recommendations and requests from District and school administrators and educators and after considering input and recommendations from an instructional material review committee. Depending on where the learning material being considered will be used, the instructional material review committee may be formed for the District as a whole, or for all the schools at a particular level of instruction (elementary, middle school or junior high, or high school), or for a specific school.
After receiving recommendations from the Superintendent, the Board shall adopt or approve instructional material in an open and regular meeting of the Board. Before adopting or approving the material, the Board shall hold at least two public meetings on the Superintendent’s recommendations at which parents of District students and District educators have the opportunity to express views and opinions on the recommendations. Prior to these meetings, the District shall post the recommended material online to allow public review or (for copyrighted materials) shall make the recommended material available at a District location for public review.
Subject to the foregoing hearing process, learning material which has been designated by the State Board of Education as within any of that Board’s “Recommended” categories may be approved for use in the District. Learning material which has been designated by the State Board of Education as “Reviewed, but not recommended” may not be approved for use in the District.
In determining whether to recommend learning material for adoption, the instructional material review committee and the Superintendent may consider whether the learning material:
- is consistent with the Utah core requirements;
- is mapped and aligned to the Utah core and state assessments (if planned for use as primary instructional materials);
- is high-quality, research-based, and proven to be effective in supporting student learning;
- provides an objective and balanced viewpoint on issues;
- includes enrichment and extension possibilities;
- is appropriate to varying levels of learning;
- is accurate and factual;
- is arranged chronologically or systematically, or both;
- reflects the pluralistic character and culture of the American people and provides accurate representation of diverse ethnic groups;
- is free from sexual, ethnic, age, gender, or disability bias and stereotyping; and
- is of acceptable technical quality.
Utah Admin. Rules R277-468-3(1) (November 7, 2022)
Utah Admin. Rules R277-469-3(2) (February 8, 2023)
Utah Admin. Rules R277-469-6(1) (February 8, 2023)
Utah Admin. Rules R277-469-7(1) (February 8, 2023)
Learning material cannot be approved for use in the District or used in District schools if the material contains any pornographic or indecent material as defined in this policy.
Utah Admin. Rules R277-468-2(1) (November 7, 2022)
Utah Admin. Rules R277-469-3(2)(c) (February 8, 2023)
Before purchasing learning material, the District shall require the proposed vendor to provide a detailed core curriculum alignment relating to the material. Contracts with publishers for purchase of learning material shall include National Instructional Materials Accessibility Standard contract language and shall require that the publisher provide material consistent with Utah Code and administrative rules.
Utah Admin. Rules R277-469-3(4) (February 8, 2023)
Contract requirements for online or digital learning material—
If the District contracts with another party to provide online or digital learning material, the contract shall require the provider to give notice to the District anytime the provider makes a material change to the content of the material (excluding regular informational updates on current events).
Supplemental material shall be selected by educators as provided by Policy EEB.
Review of instructional material—
Requests for review of instructional material are limited as follows:
- Personal interest requirement. The following may request review of instructional material:
- A student currently enrolled in and attending a District school;
- A parent or guardian of a student currently enrolled in and attending a District school;
- A District employee;
- A member of the Board of Education; or
- A current resident of the District.
- Limits on frequency
- Each individual is limited to three requests to review instructional material per school year.
- Any item which has been subject to review, reviewed under this policy, and retained may not be subject to another request for review for at least three years.
- Preconditions to request for review
- Any adult who wishes to file a request for review must first read or review the instructional material as a whole before filing the request (students are not to be required, requested, or encouraged to complete reading or reviewing instructional material in which they have discovered content they believe is pornographic or indecent).
If the requirements and conditions for review are met, an individual who desires review must complete the Request for Review of Instructional Material form and provide it to the Superintendent or Superintendent’s designee. The Superintendent or designee shall make an initial determination whether the form has been fully completed and the requirements for requesting review have been met. If so, the Superintendent or designee shall establish a District instructional material review committee to conduct the review.
In conducting a requested review, the primary purpose of the District instructional material review committee shall be to determine whether the item contains pornographic or indecent material. However, the committee may also evaluate whether the instructional material is age-appropriate and whether the prior approval of the material should be reconsidered in light of all appropriate factors. The committee’s determinations shall be made by majority vote of the members of the committee. Prior to engaging in any discussions with other committee members or participating in any decision making, each committee member shall read the item in its entirety (for written items) or review the item as a whole (for non-written items).
After the chair of the District instructional material review committee has confirmed that all members of the committee have reviewed the item in question, the chair shall schedule such meetings as are necessary for the committee to discuss the item and make its determinations.
In determining whether the item contains pornographic or indecent material, the committee shall determine whether the material meets any of the four tests for pornographic or indecent material set out in the definition above.
If the committee determines that the item contains pornographic or indecent material, then the item shall be designated as no longer approved for use in the District and removed from District schools. If the committee determines that the item does not contain pornographic or indecent material, then the committee may, but is not required to, proceed to other considerations as set out in the following paragraphs.
The committee may elect to evaluate whether the item should be removed from all use or restricted in use based on considerations of age appropriate use. In this evaluation, the committee shall use the definition of “age appropriate” set forth above in light of the prevailing standards in the adult community with regard to what is appropriate for children of that age.
The committee may also elect to reconsider the prior District approval of the item. In doing so, the committee shall consider the factors set forth above for initial approval of instructional material.
After the committee has made its determinations, it shall prepare a written report which explains its findings and the grounds for its findings. A copy of the report shall be provided to the person who requested the review.
After the committee issues its report, the chair of the committee shall report the results of the review to the Utah State Board of Education using the reporting tool provided by the State Board at this website.
The determination of the District instructional material review committee is final and may not be further appealed.