MATTAPOISETT — The Old Rochester Regional School Committee voted to accept two of 12 books donated to the district during a meeting on Wednesday, April 26.
The two books that were accepted were “Woke Racism” by John McWhorter, and “False Alarm” by Bjorn Lomborg.
“Those are the two titles that we found met our selection criteria,” said Old Rochester Regional High School Principal Mike Devoll.
According to district policy IJJ, the books were reviewed by Devoll and a school librarian who then issued a recommendation to the School Committee.
The policy states that library media specialists will use “reputable, unbiased, professionally prepared selection aids,” to evaluate a book.
The policy lists “Children’s Catalog,” “Elementary School Library Collection,” “Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books,” “Horn Book,” “Booklist,” “School Library Journal,” “Reference Books for School Libraries,” “Wilson’s Junior High School Catalog” and “Wilson’s High School Catalog” as examples of recommended sources of reviews, though the district is not limited to these sources.
According to Devoll, reviews from “Kirkus Book Reviews,” and “Publishers Weekly” were used to recommend “Woke Racism” and “False Alarm.”
The books “Fossil Future” by Alex Epstein and “The War on the West” by Douglas Murray were not recommended due to “negative professional reviews,” said Devoll.
The books “Life Skills for Teens” by Karen Harris; “While Time Remains” by Yeonmi Park; “Trans Life Survivors” by Walt Heyer; “Nation of Victims” by Vivek Ramaswamy; “Opportunity Knocks” by Tim Scott; “What is a Woman” by Matt Walsh; “Cynical Theories” by Helen Pluckrose and James Lindsay and “Stop Overthinking” by Nick Trenton were not recommended because they “did not meet selection criteria,” and “had no professional reviews for us to access,” said Devoll.
The books were donated to the district by Rochester resident Greg Hardy, who is running for one of two open seats on the Rochester School Committee.