Say YES to transparency and parental rights- The truth behind CVUSD amended BP 6161.1

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We need your help. If any of you read the Acorn today, you learned that Sandee Everett is being attacked for standing up for transparency and parental rights in CVUSD, Conejo Valley Unified School District. There are also a lot of lies being told about what she is proposing for students that would like to opt out of a potentially offensive/disturbing book and be given another choice. The following is straight from her Power Point presentation during the last board meeting.

Here are the FACTS.

The Board Policy amendments proposed by Sandee:

- Do not ban any books

- Apply to grades 9-12

- Require parents to be notified when a book on a syllabus is annotated by the California Department of Education as having mature content.

- Create a parent/community committee that provides another perspective to the Board of Education on proposed new titles

- Add a statement to English/Language Arts syllabi that notifies parents that children have the opportunity to request an alternative assignment

As an example, the following is the CDE annotation for the 9th grade book "I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings":

"The author tells of her painful childhood and adolescence, of her growth out of a childhood fantasy that she was an enchanted white girl, and of her self-acceptance. This book contains mature situations and adult language. Abusive human rights violations are portrayed. This book was published for an adult readership and thus contains mature content. Before handing the text to a child, educators and parents should read the book and know the child."

In this book an 8-year-old girl is molested and then raped by her mother's boyfriend. The description is graphic enough to be disturbing.


EXAMPLES OF WHAT THE SUPERINTENDENT'S COMMITTEE DID NOT ACCEPT ABOUT SANDEE'S PROPOSED CHANGES TO THEIR BOARD POLICY SUGGESTION:

- Do not want a parent/community committee reviewing books and making a board recommendation.

- Do not want to notify parents directly via email, Back to School Night or on the syllabus. Do not want parent signature on the syllabus acknowledging the parent has seen the syllabus (this is already done at NPHS). Their recommendation was to send a letter home stating there is an alternative selection available. They would talk to their students in class about which books they will be teaching and about an alternative assignment offering and have the students take a form home and discuss with their parents. They will also post on their website that students may opt out.

- Do not want an asterisk placed on a syllabus next to the books that have the above CDE warning (the final two sentences appear on 10 of CVUSD's approved books).

- Do not want the CDE warning or the following statement printed anywhere. The following statement is meant to inform parents what "mature content" means:
“Parents please be advised that the mature content in this book may include one or more of the following: graphic rape, graphic abusive human rights violations, graphic sex, graphic violence and suicidal ideation. The California Department of Education and the CVUSD Board of Education encourage parents to read this book before allowing your child to read it.”

 



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