Adult-rated literature for minor children at CVUSD – if parents want it

By Tony Dolz

If you are a parent of 15-17 year old minors in grades 9-12 at CVUSD, and you want your child to read and discuss in class adult-rated literature written for adults – you are in luck.

The teachers’ and parents’ task of choosing books that contain explicit references to (1) private parts and actions, boy-on-boy rape, incest rape of 9 year old girl, vicious violence and illegal activity, and (3) crass hateful, hurtful and gender and racially insensitive adult language, is made easy with help from the California Department of Education (CDE).  The CDE maintains a list of approved literature that contains the adult-rated content giving a summary of the content and the inappropriate passages.

My family does not want that for our minor children.  Our children are underage. They are completely under our moral and legal responsibility. The education establishment, their good intentions aside, is subordinate to Parental Rights. The education establishment is also subordinate to the School Board, which in turn is elected by the People.  Our voice counts as much for our children as those of parents that want the adult-rated literature.

Some of the California Department of Education (CDE) book annotations state the literature “was written for an adult readership with mature content”. The annotation warns that parents and guardians, “who know the child”, must read the books before assigning them for class work.  Some among us adults would describe some of these books as containing hateful language and violent and pornographic passages. Without parental notification, a book with inappropriate content runs the risk of emotionally or psychologically triggering of a child that is at risk.  Currently 10 books on the CVUSD list carry this CDE annotation. Presently there is no official opt-out policy for parents like us to exercise our discretion on behalf of our children in favor of our values and to safeguard our children’s emotional and psychological well-being. – But we are in luck also!

How can the wishes of parents of opposing views peacefully co-exist in the CVUSD classroom?

An all-pleasing compromise was proposed by School Board Trustee Sandee Everett, and supported by Vice President John Andersen and Board President Mike Dunn.  Until this policy was proposed, there was no official policy to notify parents of CDE annotated books and to opt-out children. 

Who marks-up books as “adult-content” and inappropriate?  The California Department of Education does, not the CVUSD Board.  The Everett-proposed, Andersen-Dunn-supported policy aligns CDE guidelines and recommendations with CVUSD policy.

Inexplicably, radicals within the education establishment oppose the carefully crafted compromise that gives parents of opposing views a choice.   The education establishment goes further.  It  questions the authority of the School Board.

The authority of boards is specified in California Education Code, and in some cases in Government Code. There are many education codes that speak to school board authority.  The following four summarize it well: 

•  Ed Code 35160: “The governing board of any school district may initiate and carry on any program, activity, or may otherwise act in any manner which is not in conflict with or inconsistent with, or preempted by, any law and which is not in conflict with the purposes for which school districts are established.”

•  Ed Code 35160.1(b): “It is the intent of the Legislature that Section 35160 be liberally construed to effect this objective.”

•  Ed Code 35161: the board “may execute any powers delegated by law to it … shall discharge any duty imposed by law upon it … may delegate to an officer or employee of the district any of those powers or duties. The governing board, however, retains ultimate responsibility over the performance of those powers or duties so delegated.”

•  Ed Code 33308.5 (a) Program guidelines issued by the State Department of Education shall be designed to serve as a model or example, and shall not be prescriptive. Program guidelines issued by the department shall include written notification that the guidelines are merely exemplary, and that compliance with the guidelines is not mandatory.

This language makes it pretty clear that school boards in California have a great deal of authority; they’re permitted to do anything that is consistent with the purpose of schools and not prohibited by law.

No matter what you chose as a parent for your child, support the board’s policy of inclusiveness, transparency and fairness and reject one-sided extremism.


Note: Discussion and vote on this will take place Tuesday, 11-14-17, 6 PM, 1400 Janss Road, Thousand Oaks.

Tony Dolz lives with his family in Thousand Oaks. 2012 CVUSD School Board Candidate – Received 23,151 Votes; Author of the California Privacy Protection Opt-Out Form; Founder of the Concerned Parents of California; MBA – International Business; Local Business Owner; Married, Father of Two Children in the CVUSD

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Deborah Baber Savalla

Excellent observations about what this policy does and does NOT do! Facts…. They are important! The ugly activist educators don’t want parents informed of the FACTS!

William Hicks

Well, the only real action that will make a difference is for The Federal Department of Education to create nationwide vouchers for those parents that prefer to be the people that make that decision for their children. It;s quite obvious that The California Department of Education is equal to the fox guarding the hen house, when it comes to any appreciable choice of books.

Also, keep in mind the woeful record the California Department of Education has when it comes to academic achievement of the students they are supposed to be educating.