Richland School District’s Curricula and Policies Violated by Language Arts Curriculum

The following are exerpts from district Policies and Curricula.

These excerpts serve to illustrate the parts of the policies and curicula which are violated by the books on the reading list of the secondary Literature curriculum. Complete policies, which usually contain the references to state laws that they support, are availabe from the District Office at 615 Snow Street, Richland, WA 99352.

Language Arts Curriculum was adopted in 1998

This provides, it says, "a rationale of the teaching of literature." Furthermore it says there are six reasons "why" the study of literature is important:

Social Studies Curriculum was adopted in 1997-98.

"Students should be taught to distinguish fact from opinion, objectivity from bias, and to identify and clarify their own commitments through a rational thinking process…"

"The ability to participate socially is imperative for responsible citizenship."

"Whatever students learn should inspire them to apply their knowledge, abilities, and commitments toward the improvements of human conditions throughout the world."

Health Education Curriculum was adopted in 1989-90.

"The health education program of the Richland School district is intended to complement and supplement the practices and standards established by the family. The health program will provide students an understanding of their roles in contributing to a healthful society. The program is intended to offer students the knowledge, skills and attitudes needed for healthful and safe living.

…The student:

…makes responsible decisions and acts in ways which contribute to good personal and Community health:

…has a basic understanding of human growth and development:

…understands how the functioning of the family unit affects health:

…is aware of major local, national, and global health problems and viable solutions:"

Home and Family Life Curriculum was adopted in 1986-87

"The student will be able to apply principles of human growth and development of self-awareness and relationships with adults, peers and children within family and society."

"The student will be able to develop leadership skills for the multiple roles of family member and wage earner."

The Science Curriculum Framework was adopted in 1994

"Science promotes critical thinking. More than a body of knowledge, science is a way of thinking. It helps children develop skills in observing, developing explanations, reasoning, and making informed decisions."

Policy 1710 Board of Directors

"The board recognizes that the primary mission of the Washington common schools is to assure learning experiences to help all children develop skills and attitudes fundamental to receiving individual satisfaction as responsible, contributing citizens.

"As trustee for the community’s schools, the Board of Directors is responsible for:

"1) Community Representation: Learning the concerns and aspirations that all segments of the community have for the schools and attempting to find ways to accommodate them, where possible, so that the schools will accurately respond to the needs of the community.

"The Board requests each of its members to subscribe to the code of ethics adopted by the Washington State schools Directors’ Association…

6) Strive to ensure that people are accurately informed about our schools and try to interpret to the staff the aspirations of the community for its schools."

Policy 2167 Drug and Alcohol Use/Abuse Programs

"The Board recognizes that the use/abuse of alcohol, controlled substances or dangerous drugs and any other chemical substances is a societal problem and may represent an impairment to the normal development, well-being and academic performance of students. To ensure the safety, health and well-being of all students, the Board is committed to the development of a program which emphasizes prevention, intervention, aftercare support and necessary corrective actions."

Policy 2311 Instructional Materials - Selection and Adoption

"Instructional materials selection will be guided by the following principles:

…4) Stimulate student growth in academic knowledge and skills, literary and aesthetic appreciation, moral standards, ethical behavior, and critical thinking skills.

5) Elimination of Sex Bias in compliance with WAC 392-190-0055."

Policy 2331 Controversial Subjects

"Students shall have the right to face issues, to have free access to information, to study in situations free from harassment and prejudice, and to express their opinions.

Teachers shall take into consideration the varied instructional needs, abilities, interests, and maturity levels of the students served. They shall guide discussions with thoroughness and objectivity, showing students the need to recognize opposing viewpoints, the importance of fact, the value of judgment and respect for conflicting opinions."

Policy 3200 Students’ Rights and Responsibilities

"The mission of the Richland School District is to provide learning experiences which will assist all students to develop skills, competencies, and attitudes that are fundamental to an individual’s achievement as a responsible, contributing citizen."

Policy 3220 Freedom of Expression

"Students are expressly prohibited from the use of vulgar and/or offensive terms…

"2) Distribution of written material … which is construed to be obscene shall not be permitted. Rules for determining obscenity should be consistent with those as applied to instructional materials. Obscene material is what the average person, applying contemporary community standards, would find that the work taken as a while appeals to prurient interest; that the work depicts or describes, in a patently offensive way, sexual conduct specifically defined by the applicable state law; or that the work taken as a whole lacks serious literary, artistic, political or scientific value.

"4) Material may be considered profane when the language does not meet the standards of professional journalism as evidenced by the daily newspapers commonly distributed in the district. Sanctions may be imposed on a student when he/she engages in offensively ‘lewd and indecent speech.’

"7) Publications or oral speeches which advocate racial, religious, or ethnic prejudice or discrimination or seriously disparage particular racial, religious, or ethnic groups are prohibited."

Policy 3221 Student Publications

"Material appearing in student publications should strive to reflect major areas of student interest. If controversial issues are presented they shall be treated in depth and represent a variety of viewpoints. Such materials shall not be libelous, obscene or profane, nor shall they cause a disruption of the school, invade the privacy of others, demean any race, religion, sex or ethnic group, advocate the violation of the law, or advertise cigarettes, liquor, illicit drugs, or drug paraphernalia."

Policy 3222 Student Distribution of Materials in the Schools

Students may not distribute obscene materials.

Policy 4350 Tobacco Products

"…committed to establishing a tobacco-free learning and working environment."

Policy 8700 Sexual Harassment

"’Sexual harassment’ means unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, sexually motivated physical contact, or other verbal or physical conduct or communication of sexual nature between two or more individuals if:

  1. Submission to that conduct or communication is made a term of condition, either explicitly or implicitly, of obtaining an education or employment;
  2. Submission to or rejection of that conduct or communication by an individual is used as a factor in decisions affecting that individual’s education or employment; or
  3. That conduct or communication has the purpose or effect of substantially interfering with an individual’s educational or work performance, or of creating an intimidating, hostile or offensive educational or work environment."

Rules and Regulations go on to stress that sexual harassment may include:

"4) Making unwelcome, offensive or inappropriate sexually suggestive remarks, comments, gestures or jokes; or remarks of a sexual nature about a person’s appearance, gender or conduct;

5) using derogatory sexual terms for a person;

…7) Displaying offensive or inappropriate sexual illustrations on school property."