Inclusion of Novels Written by POC in our Curriculum

Inclusion of Novels Written by POC in our Curriculum

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Petition to
Palos Verdes Peninsula Unified School District

Why this petition matters


Dear Palos Verdes Peninsula Unified District School Board: 

Education is one of the most vital aspects in the growth and development of a child’s mindset. While it has been successful in many aspects, it has also been drastically underutilized as a tool to combat racism. One of the best ways to teach children about the world around them, especially the people and diverse cultures they come form, is through stories and first-hand experiences, which is why we believe that it is necessary to include books written by and about people of color.

Firstly, Middle and High School is a time where students first start to explore their identities and the connection of race with American and world history.  Students are exposed more to stereotypes and the skewed narratives they learn from the media. They begin to form their own beliefs, which without an academic anti-racist perspective, will be formed through the media and the beliefs they inherit from those around them. Therefore, it is fundamental that we have core novels written by and about the people of color, to make sure that our students learn to be anti-racist.

Ignorance creates bias and bias creates prejudice and prejudice fosters ignorance. This is a cycle that has had deadly consequences. The only way to truly make process in diminishing the hate and prejudice in our country, and our world, we need to take the first steps toward tolerance, learning about and appreciating the different backgrounds that people come from. By exposing our students to the stories of people of color, we will be teaching them to better understand the different cultures that make up our society and foster a greater tolerance in our community.

 As being exposed to different cultural and racial perspectives is extremely important, so is being exposed to different gender points of view. Female voices have a history of being minimized and excluded, especially when it comes to the voices of women of color. Inclusivity in all forms is fundamental to progressing as a society, and it is therefore imperative to make sure we include female voices, especially those of women of color, in our education system.

Due to the reasons stated above, we propose that:

I. A minimum of at least one book in every English/Literature and Comprehension class be by a person of color AND about a person/people of color’s experience(s)

II. At least one of the mandated books be about the Black AND/OR the woman of color experience, due to the anti-Blackness and minimization of female voices that has existed since the inception of our nation.

III. This implementation be enforced not only in all standard English classes, but alternatives for standard English classes such as AP/IB programs

IV. These texts be analyzed to the same extent that any other traditional text would be analyzed in the classroom

We urge that this school board take action by adopting such texts in line with the above proposal. We wholeheartedly understand that as a school board, you do have a specific protocol in place for the selection of new instructional materials in the classroom.

While we respect the amount of thoughtfulness and dedication this review process demands, we would like to request that this proposal, along with the books listed, be granted an expedited review process in order to enact tangible change both quickly and effectively. We recognize that the district has a strong commitment to student success and educational endeavors, but we believe that it could better accomplish its goals by adopting the practices explained in this proposal. Let us diversify our narrative and utilize our school system to combat oppression in this country and work towards a more equal, just world for all.

Credit for this petition goes to the Diversify Our Narrative Campaign. Minor adjustments have been made to better fit our district and the needs of our community. 


183 have signed. Let’s get to 200!