Dear Powerful Parent,
As you know, Power2Parent exists to empower parents in Nevada to advocate for their children. Last week, a number of parents reached out to inform us that a 10th grade Honors English reading list required students to choose from options that were incredibly inappropriate. One of the selections in particular was entitled Fun Home, by Alison Bechdel. This book, a graphic novel, depicts illustrations of individuals engaged in explicit sexual acts that are not appropriate viewing for minors. Even the Comic Legal Defense Fund rates Fun Home as only appropriate for college age students or older.
The principal at Palo Verde High School, where the reading list was distributed to students as young as 15 year old, was contacted and promptly pulled the book and the graphic novel unit from the Honors English Department. This Principal did everything a parent would expect when informed of the information. However, there is a larger problem in our district where teachers have flouted Nevada laws and CCSD policies that are supposed to prevent this kind of material from being suggested, required or distributed to minors at school. By offering this book as a choice to minors, the Honors English Department risked being in violation of state laws including the following:
1) NRS 389.036: Notice to and written consent from parents - also known as OPT-IN. Parents must be notified when sexual material is presented to students and provide a permission slip giving consent.
2) NRS 201.265: Distribution of obscene material to minors - unlawful for a person to distribute or cause to be distributed to a minor material that is harmful to minors, unless the person is the parent, guardian, or spouse of the minor. (Schools are currently exempted by law - this has to change)
CCSD policy requires permission slips for students to watch PG rated movies at school and to take sex-ed courses. This English Department failed to uphold the trust placed in them by their administration and parents who expect education integrity, rather than presenting the kinds of degrading material found in Fun Home.
Power2Parent urges families to be vigilant in protecting their children by holding teachers accountable and consistently reviewing the material given or recommended to our children. Pornography/Illicit materials should never be disguised as literature in our classrooms.
We have made CCSD administration aware of this issue and we will be working towards a solution to prevent this breach of trust in the future. Stay tuned for an updated from us in the near future.