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A disappointing response

Posted: May 5, 2010 4:21 p.m.
Updated: May 6, 2010 4:55 a.m.
The William S. Hart Union High School District board met April 21. All of the board was present, although Superintendant Jaime Castellanos arrived late.

Also present were prospective architectural firms that will be involved in the many ongoing Hart district infrastructure projects.

Student member Taylor Arnone reported STAR testing and ASB elections have commenced, and proms are coming up.

A debate arose on the controversial novel, "The Glass Castle," by Jeanette Walls.

A complaint was filed by a Saugus High School parent, who complained about the presence of profanity in the text. As a result of the complaint, a committee was formed that included one parent and one English teacher.

This committee found that the profanity was very brief, and the overall value of the book warranted allowing this book to remain on the approved reading list.

The book deals with a young lady who is entrusted with the care of a baby and discovers the baby had been sexually molested.

One of the parents not on the committee read a passage from the book that stated, "molestation is a crime of perception."

All the parents, except for the committee member, felt this book, while having merit, was not appropriate for the classroom.

Their pleas that this book be omitted from the classroom were for naught. The administration had already decided on a plan, and would not be swayed.

They had decided if this book is to be read in the classroom, a letter will be sent home to parents describing the controversial content, and written parental permission must be given for the student to participate in the reading assignment.

The board also decided it would only be appropriate for the 11th and 12th grades. Joe Messina and Joe Sturgeon were the only board members who appeared to give sincere consideration to the parents' statements on this issue. The members present from the administration appeared to endure parents' comments without ever considering the validity of those comments. Their decision had been made prior to this open meeting, and the opinions of concerned parents couldn't be less significant to them.

Two Sierra Vista students spoke eloquently and gave moving commentaries on their profound disappointment in having their promotion exercises canceled due to budgetary constraints. A parent said she was disappointment in the method in which the
message of the cancellation of the commencement exercises were given, by automated message during her dinner time.

Again, the board seemed unmoved by these very impressive students' statements.


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