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Petaluma City Schools |  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 or designee and the teacher(s) involved of the complaint. The Superintendent 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 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 or designee for final action. The Superintendent or designee shall notify the complainant of his/her decision no later than 60 days after the complaint was filed.

The report of the review committee together with the Superintendent or designee's recommendation may be brought to the Board of Education 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 or designee may forward the complaint, without action, to the office of the County Superintendent of Schools for reevaluation and decision.

If the questioned material has been adopted by the State of California, the Superintendent or designee may forward the complaint, without action, to the California Department of Education for reevaluation and decision.


approved: June 25, 2002 Petaluma, California