Reinstate "Stick" to the Beaverton School District

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Petition to Beaverton School Board members and Superintendent Don Grotting:
Susan Greenberg (Zone 1), Anne Bryan (Zone 2), Eric Simpson (Zone 3), Donna Tyner (Zone 4), LeeAnn Larsen (Zone 5), Becky Tymchuk (Zone 6), and Tom Colett (Zone 7).

On February 12th, Deputy Superintendent Steve Phillips banned the Young Adult novel "Stick" from the eyes and hearts of thousands of 6th through 10th grade students. This decision came DESPITE the unanimous recommendation by instructional leaders, administrators, teachers, specialists, and community members who believed the book met district reading guidelines.

This decision is disturbing on many levels. The professional judgment of a committee of dedicated stakeholders who took the time to meet, read the book, and evaluate the complaint was almost entirely dismissed by a single administrator. This sets a bad precedent. We believe no single person should have the authority to bar students from accessing books. Further we fear that the Deputy Superintendent’s actions run the risk of eroding years of trust and collaboration between administrative and teaching staff. Simply put, no administrator should be able to override the thoughtful and democratic consensus arrived at by vital teaching and community stakeholders. We believe there should be policies that enshrine the principle of democratic decision-making in matters of curriculum and instruction and prevent future administrative overreach.

We, the parents, teachers, community members and voters in the Beaverton School District, call on the Beaverton School Board to:

Reverse Deputy Superintendent’s decision to ban the book “Stick” by Andrew Smith.

Enact policies that protect administrative overreach in matters of curriculum and instruction.

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