Books on WCS Digital Library app raise concerns for some parents
FRANKLIN, Tenn. (WSMV) -A digital library used by students in Williamson County Schools has been temporarily disabled while the district reviews its content.
WCS parent Trisha Lucente says earlier this week she notified school board members about content on the digital library app called “EPIC!”
She says she logged in on her kindergartener’s Chromebook and found a range of books.
“It’s got a page in there that says love and kisses so delicious. It’s about same sex marriage and what not. It has people kissing on it. Love and kisses so delicious is not something that a child needs to read,” explained Lucente.
In the school district’s most recent message to parents, officials sent the following notice:
“Hello WCS Families of K-5 Students,
I am writing with additional information concerning the Epic! digital library app used in our elementary schools over the past few years.
As shared yesterday, the district is in the process of reviewing the Epic! app. This review is based upon concerns shared related to the book titled, An ABC of Equality, and others with similar topics. After preliminary review, we have not found any content that should be blocked for all students. However, the app contains over 40,000 selections and selections may change, so staff is conducting a review of this app as follows:
• How students access the content available through the app
• Checking to ensure that WCS Internet filters are appropriately screening content when accessed directly through the app
The district hopes to complete the review by the middle of next week.
Additionally, with the passage of recent State legislation, the Age-Appropriate Materials Act of 2022, Public Chapter 744, we will be checking to determine whether this app meets the new requirements for use in schools.
Finally, over the next few weeks, the district will be reviewing more than 600 apps currently available for teachers and students based on how they align to the new legislation”
Parent Revida Rahman with One Willco advocates for the rights and equity for all students. She is hoping the district will make decisions with all parents and students in mind.
“I think it makes it hard to say that only one person’s belief system matters when you are in a district and you want to be inclusive and you want kids to feel safe and welcome,” said Rahman.
“Not wanting these books on an app, or in a library, or wherever, is not about not wanting those people to be seen and not wanting that community. It’s about its not age appropriate for those kids to see that now and ask those questions at school” stated Lucente.
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