SAN JUAN CAPISTRANO : School Trustees OK Complaint Policy

Parents who have complaints about instructional materials used in the Capistrano Unified School District now have a formal avenue to voice their displeasure.

Under a new policy passed this week by the school district, parents are required to first notify their child’s principal. If the complaint cannot be resolved, a parent may make a written complaint, which would be forwarded to the district office.

If necessary, the district superintendent can appoint a reviewing committee to address the complaint. The panel would be made up of five members--a district administrator, the district librarian, a school-site administrator, teacher and parent. The parent would not be selected from the school where the complaint was lodged.

A student may be excused from an assignment after his or her parent makes a written complaint, and receive an alternative assignment.


When they first considered the new policy earlier this month, trustees said that they did not want parents to be discouraged from appealing any administrative decisions to the board.

They unanimously approved the policy Monday night.

Trustees have said they do not believe parents will use the policy to attack books or other materials that they deem offensive.

In the past, parents in the district have objected to materials about AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases.


The district has a separate committee that reviews textbooks before they are approved for classroom use.