The Broward School District Board on Tuesday voted to prohibit all sexual material in its classrooms, but not to prevent students from viewing it.
The board’s executive director, Barbara Hall, told The Washington Post that the vote was based on the recommendations of the board’s sexual assault task force.
But, she said, she could not immediately determine how many students had been exposed to material.
“We’ve had conversations with many of our staff members,” Hall said.
“I can’t tell you how many we’ve had that have been impacted by it.”
In a letter to parents on Tuesday, the task force said that “sexual images, including graphic images of sex, are inherently sexual in nature and can harm people of all ages.”
It added that sexual images can be “a trigger for students to explore sexual behavior” and that teachers “should be mindful of how they use sexual imagery.”
The task force, which included a former school district superintendent and current chair of the school board, also recommended that schools allow students to bring sexual images to class, to “show students the benefits of the art form of photography,” and to provide a “safe space” where students can discuss the images.
The vote on Tuesday comes amid a wave of sexual assault cases in the United States, with more than 300 women accusing men of sexually assaulting them.
The taskforce found that schools can have an impact on sexual assault prevention efforts.
In a recent report, the school district found that “the impact of sexual harassment and assault prevention strategies is far greater than the effects of the underlying problems.”
The Broward board, however, is not the first to try to ban sexual images in classrooms.
Last year, a district in California banned all sexual imagery in classrooms, citing a lack of sufficient evidence.
The new school board in Broward will meet next month.