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School books go too far

Posted: November 6, 2009 7:40 p.m.
Updated: November 8, 2009 4:55 a.m.
Editor's note: The following letter contains graphic content regarding local school reading assignments. We believe the public knowledge of what students were told to read outweighs the potential of offending some of our readers.

The article ("Sex, vulgar language in books offend parents," Nov. 1) leaves out an important detail.

In "The Glass Castle" there are six detailed sexual assaults of children. The grandmother molests her 10-year-old grandson and the father calls him a p___y; the uncle attempts to molest his 13-year-old niece while exposing and pleasuring himself and when the girl complains to her mother, she is told he's "lonely," and "sexual assault is a crime of perception;" attempted rape of an 8-year-old girl; a father pimps his 13-year-old daughter in a bar; molestation of an 8-year-old by a stranger; sexual assault of a minor in the workplace; and such phrases as "stinking c__t," "worthless whore" and "n____r lover," as well as a recommendation of prostitution ("It puts chicken on the table").

"The Bean Trees" features one rape of a 2-year-old as well as sexual torture.

The books (both of which I read) also trashed Christianity. The article failed to state the school district refused three times to give our child an opt-out book in lieu of "The Bean Trees" before they allowed it. Both books also violate the school district's own policies against sexual harassment, obscenity, pervasive profanity and religious discrimination.

Try wearing a shirt to Saugus High School with some passages from either book and see how quickly security removes you.

Our child was forced to read the book initially and the teacher twice refused to give another book when I complained. My child was then threatened with a whole letter-grade drop. Every student has the legal right to an opt-out book, but we were told "it was too much work" to offer the opt-out books on "The Glass Castle" assignment.

My child's rights do not vanish at the school gate. Both of these books also constitute distributing obscenity which is a crime and has been challenged by other parents and school board members around the country.

We got other parents to challenge these books with us because they had the facts.

Now that you have the facts do you think these two books are teaching what we want our kids in Santa Clarita to learn?

If you want to challenge these books visit or contact the William S. Hart Union High School District.


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