Carmel Clay Schools reveals fate of books under review as result of contentious July 2021 school board meeting 

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Carmel Clay Schools has released information on the fate of several books flagged by some community members as inappropriate at a school board meeting in July 2021. 

Dr. Michael Beresford

Dr. Michael Beresford

During the meeting, several people read excerpts from some of the books during the time allotted for public comment. Afterward, CCS Supt. Michael Beresford said the district would review the titles mentioned, calling some of the material read “completely inappropriate” for students and “not in line with our values here at Carmel Clay Schools.” 

According to information provided by CCS as a result of a public information request, many of the titles have been removed or moved either because they were not deemed a good fit for the ages of students in the building or because of a lack of interest in the book, meaning they hadn’t been “checked out in years or only quite minimally,” according to Emily Bauer, CCS director of community relations. Others were moved to a resource library, which can be accessed by teachers and parents, while another remains available to elementary school students. Two books weren’t found in CCS collections. 

The books reviewed in the middle schools and high school are: 

  • “Crank” by Ellen Hopkins, removed based on age and lack of interest
  • “L8r, G8r” by Lauren Myracle, removed based on age and lack of interest 
  • “The Infinite Moment of Us,” removed based on age and lack of interest 
  • “Doing It Right” by Bronwen Pardes, removed based on age and lack of interest 
  • “It’s Perfectly Normal” by Robie H. Harris, 1994 copy removed based on age and lack of interest, 2014 copy moved to a resource library 

Books reviewed at the elementary school level are: 

  • “Phoenix Goes to School” by Michelle Finch and Phoenix Finch, remains on the shelf 
  • “Call Me Max” by Kyle Lukoff, moved to a resource library 
  • “Introducing Teddy” by Jessica Walton, not found in any CCS libraries
  • “Sparkle Boy” by Leslea Newman, not found in any CCS libraries 

CCS formed an advisory committee to review the books. The committee included the district’s administrator of curriculum, instruction and assessment; the student services administrator; a secondary media representative; a secondary administrator; a classroom teacher representative; an elementary media representative; and CCS parents. 

None of the recommendations have been appealed, Bauer said. 

In November 2021, CCS launched a website for parents to provide information about the types of instructional materials used in the district, provide step-by-step instructions on how to view books checked out by their children and offer book reviews and a short synopsis of various titles available. Visit the site at ccs.k12.in.us/services/curriculum/instructional-resources. 


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