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Atascadero USD |  AR  1312.2  Community Relations

Complaints Concerning Instructional Materials   

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Complaints concerning instructional materials will be accepted only from staff, district residents, or the parents/guardians of children enrolled in a district school.

Complaints must be presented in writing to the principal. Complaints regarding printed material must name the author, title and publisher, and identify the objection by page and item numbers. In the case of nonprinted material, written information specifying the precise nature of the objection shall be given. The statement must be signed and identified in such a way that a proper reply will be possible.

Individual students may be excused from using challenged materials after the parent/guardian has presented a written complaint. The teacher will then assign the student alternate materials of equal merit. Use of the materials by a class, school or the District, however, shall not be restricted until so directed by the Superintendent or designee.

Upon receiving a complaint, the principal will acknowledge its receipt and answer any questions regarding procedure. The principal will then notify the Superintendent/Principal or designee and the teacher(s) involved of the complaint. The Superintendent/Principal or designee will determine whether the complaint should be considered on an individual basis or whether a review committee should be convened.

The use of challenged materials by class, school or district shall not be restricted until final disposition has been made by the appropriate review committee.

A review committee may be formed under the direction of the Superintendent or designee. It shall be composed of the principal and five or more staff members selected by the Superintendent/Principal or designee from relevant administrative and instructional areas.

In deliberating challenged materials, the review committee shall consider the educational philosophy of the District; the professional opinions of other teachers of the subject and of other competent authorities; reviews of the materials by reputable bodies; the teacher's stated objectives in using the materials; and the objections of the complainant.

The review committee shall determine the extent to which the challenged material supports the curriculum, the educational appropriateness of the material, and its suitability for the age level of the student.

Within 30 days of being convened, the review committee shall summarize its findings in a written report and submit it to the Superintendent/Principal or designee for final action. The Superintendent/Principal or designee shall notify the complainant of his/her decision no later than 60 days after the complaint was filed.

Upon receipt of the completed form, the District Superintendent/Principal or designee shall appoint an ad hoc materials review committee. The committee shall include a teacher, and/or a school librarian, a school principal, the Assistant Superintendent/Personnel, and three community members not in the employ of the District. The Assistant Superintendent Personnel shall choose the committee. Whenever possible, the materials/program review committee shall meet within 15 working days following receipt of the written challenge to review the challenged material/program and to evaluate its appropriateness for use in the schools.

The report of the review committee together with the Superintendent or designee's recommendation may be brought to the Board of Trustees for consideration and final decision.

When any challenged instructional material is reviewed by the District, it shall not be subject to any additional reconsideration for 12 months.

County or State-Adopted Material

If the challenged material has been adopted by the County Board of Education, the Superintendent/Principal or designee may forward the complaint, without action, to the office of the County Superintendent of Schools for reevaluation and decision.


approved: November 2, 1999 Atascadero, California