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Vista USD |  AR  1312.2  Community Relations

Resolving Complaints Regarding Adopted Instructional Materials   

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Instructional materials necessarily use word and picture symbols to present and develop ideas, concepts, and generalizations. Because symbols are interpreted differently by different people, it is inevitable that there will be from time to time criticism of materials adopted for use in the schools in Vista Unified School District.

In order to protect authors, publishers, sponsors, reviewers, staff of the Vista Unified School District and the Board of Trustees against unsubstantiated charges, the following procedures are outlined for evaluation of criticism of materials previously adopted by the Board of Trustees for use in the schools:


1. Unless presented at a regular meeting of the Board of Trustees, criticisms, in order to be considered, must be presented in writing and must be signed by the complainant. Written criticisms or complaints should be presented to the Superintendent as the Secretary to the Board of Trustees. Complaints received by Board members or by the staff of Vista Unified School District will be furnished promptly to each member of the Board of Trustees after completion of the process itemized below.

2. Written complaints about Board-adopted instructional materials should contain at least the following information:

a. The title of the book, recording, film, video, or other item of instructional materials under consideration.

b. Name and address of the author, publisher, producer, and/or sponsor.

c. A citation of the pages and specific passages or items in question.

d. Identification of the complainant and a statement of his/her basis for criticizing the particular item.

e. Signature of the complainant.

The following process will be followed in addressing such written complaints:

1. The Superintendent, with the approval of the Board of Trustee, will appoint a special reviewing committee of at least three (3) members, including at least one (1) member from the staff of the Vista Unified School District, and will refer the complaint to the committee for evaluation.

2. The author, publisher, producer, or sponsor of the material may be notified of the complaint and given an opportunity to submit a reply or to provide additional information pertinent to the matter.

3. The committee shall consider the material both on the basis of its individual merits and on the basis of its relationship to the total instructional program. The committee shall prepare a signed written report for the Superintendent who will present the report, with appropriate comments, to the Board of Trustees.

4. In order to protect such as individuals, authors, producers, publishers, sponsors, and others who may be involved in such criticism and complaints which may later be found to be unsubstantiated, Board members, the superintendent, staff and other members of the reviewing committee will taker proper precaution to prevent disclosure of the names of persons and/or materials involved in the complaint.

5. After receiving the report from the Superintendent on the material under question, the Board of Trustees will discuss the matter, review the material under consideration, and make whatever other investigation it deems appropriate under the circumstances.

6. When action on the complaint has been taken by the Board of Trustees, the complainant will be notified.

In the event materials are withdrawn from the approved list, a notification will be sent to the publisher, producer, or sponsor and to district personnel concerned with the action.


approved: August 19, 2010 Vista, California