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School District In Ventura County Hit By Controversy Over Proposed Book Restrictions

A large crowd is expected Tuesday night for a public hearing by a school board in Ventura County over a controversial proposal to screen books used in classrooms.

The controversy has to do with the Conejo Valley School District’s district’s “opt out” plan, which allows parents who object to a book to ask the teacher for an alternate for their child.

The school board set up a committee to come up with a more formalized plan. But, the school board is instead looking at a proposal by one of its members.

Sandee Everett’s plan would require every teacher to fill out a form justifying the use of any literary or nonfiction work, and the form would have to be signed by the teacher, department chair, school principal, and district superintendent. It would call for parental warnings for books with adult content like “Catcher In The Rye,” and give the board veto power over books.

The proposal has many parents and teachers angry and upset. The school board is set to take up this issue when it meets at six Tuesday night at the district’s headquarters in Thousand Oaks.