GRANITE BAY, Calif. (KTXL) — After an intense public debate in the Granite Bay High School cafeteria, the school’s site council approved a list of controversial materials for use in classrooms.
Ultimately, the Granite Bay Site Council said they want to leave the power in the teachers’ hands when it comes to discussing these books, which some parents say touch on subjects like sex, rape and suicide.
On one side, some parents feel it’s safer to discuss these views in an educational setting rather than through video games, movies and locker-room talk.
The other side wants balance and doesn’t like the idea of there being divisive materials in the classroom.
“I think they made the right decision,” Sela Sangwin, a student, said. “It’s important to have things in our curriculum to have a diverse opinion and breed critical thinking.”
Students say it’s important for them to read these topics and talk about them freely and openly.
“I think every new book is just a new opportunity to grow and learn. And just by limiting these, you almost limit the student’s ability to explore and embrace perspective,” student Alexander Alizadeh said.
The site council voted unanimously to approve the controversial list. Those not on board say they did not want a complete ban.
“We just wanted some balance. We want some alternative, you know, materials in there from Black authors, Asian authors, like we want to hear stories of success and leadership and hope and love and friendship and positive things,” parent Chemene Phillips said.
Many who spoke against approval said they just wanted the decision to be postponed so they could have more time to review the materials.
However, some said there was underlying negativity in the books that could be a trigger for some students going through difficult times.
“Issues like race, issues like sexual abuse, suicide, those kinds of things. They could be sitting at class, there could be students sitting in class, suicide, currently being sexually abused, you know, currently being raised that can’t speak out and sitting in class and having those discussions, they relive their trauma, and that makes that conversation really hard,” Phillips said.
Ultimately, the council decided to put the trust in the teachers.
“I think the way to create curriculum is to let youur experts who are more professionals in that area do what they do. If they ever step out of line, we have processes with which they handle those things,” teacher Brandon Dell’Orto said.
Although the list of books is now approved, many hope the conversation continues. To see the list of books, click or tap here.