Later this week, the Chino Valley Unified School District Board (CVUSD) is taking a final vote on a new policy to help the district rid its libraries of books with “sexually obscene content.” Parents swamped last month’s school board meeting and read from pornographic books they found in their school libraries. They believe this policy is a necessary step to shield children from inappropriate content. But dozens of others also showed up, led by the local teacher union president, expressing their distress over the books that could be removed.
The proposed policy is based on a model policy put together by Karen England, president of the Capitol Resource Institute. She is traveling the country helping parents and school boards expose and expunge the influx of graphic pornographic books being placed in school libraries. England set up a website detailing the sexually graphic books found in 24 California School Districts, including Chino Valley Unified.
CVUSD’s proposed library book removal policy allows a parent, a community member, or a school staff member to file a complaint about a book with the school, but only if it is “alleged to contain sexually obscene content considered unsuitable for students.” After investigating, the principal must then remove the item and notify the Superintendent within three days. The Superintendent has two more days to notify the school board.
At this point, the school board must hold a public hearing within 45 days to determine whether the “material is appropriate for student use or harmful to students.” If it is determined harmful, then the book will be removed permanently from all district facilities.
(Warning: The testimony given below at last month’s CVUSD board meeting on the library policy contains sexually graphic content)
“I have a child that is Christian. I’m raising her to have values, not to cuss and look at porn,” one father explained at last month’s hearing. He made these comments after reading from a book he found in a local high school describing sexually aroused genitals. “I’m a taxpayer… . I don’t have cable in my house. I don’t want this stuff that is rated R or X in the schools.”
In contrast, other parents expressed fears the new policy was a “smoke screen” for the board’s efforts to promote religious beliefs. “This is just a way for you to shove your Christian beliefs down the throats of students,” said Lauren Daniel, according to the Daily Bulletin. Even the president of the Associated Chino Teachers, Brenda Walker, spoke in opposition to the pornography removing policy. “We are heartbroken to envision all of the books and all of the learning and all of the dreaming that comes with them to be removed from classrooms,” she said, according the Daily Bulletin.
The CVUSD policy will be voted on this Thursday, November 16. You can watch the meeting live or attend yourself to show your support.