East Bay teacher put on leave after inappropriate assignment

2 mins read

A high school teacher was placed on administrative leave after giving a reading assignment that some parents deemed sexually explicit. 

A parent says she notified the school of the assignment and said the topic should have been kept out of the classroom. 

“It was very disappointing,” the parent, who did not want her identity revealed, said. Her daughter attends James Logan High School, where she received the reading assignment.

“I was thinking ‘How am I going to explain this to her?’ I said ‘Did you read a paper about a guy in the shower touching himself?’ and at that moment her face just cringed,” the parent said.

The parent showed a photo of the reading assigned to 10th graders earlier this month.

“Their reaction was that they felt so uncomfortable in that class and sick to their stomach while reading it and having to answer those questions,” she said.

In a statement, the New Haven Unified School District’s superintendent wrote, in part:

“As superintendent, I was just as outraged as our parents when I learned about the particular reading selection that was assigned to our students. As soon as we learned of this assignment, it was withdrawn and the teacher was placed on administrative leave pending an investigation into this matter.”

The superintendent went on to say the reading passage was from the book “Chicana Falsa” by Michelle Serros, a novel with a collection of poems about growing up in a rural community in California.

The district agrees that the content was inappropriate for high school students and that the book was selected by the teacher as supplemental material. It was not approved for use in the classrooms by the school. 

But this parent questioned how the material reached students in the first place.

“As parents we would like the school board to support us and how we want to raise our children and what they are supposed to be taught in the school system and eliminate the sexualization within the school literature,” she said.

Thus far, the district hasn’t named the teacher under investigation.

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