Warning: This article contains sexually graphic content that readers may find disturbing.
Parents can’t assume schools have kids’ best interest in mind, said a Delano father after a parents group discovered “quite a few” books containing pornographic material in the high school library.
According to Jake Torola, advisor to Concerned Community of 879 (CC879) and father of six, the list is at 20 and counting.
Torola said a group of parents became suspicious after finding questionable books on a list for a 4th-6th grade reading competition.
Upon further investigation, the group said it discovered a book called “Flamer” by Mike Curato in the high school library. Flamer is a graphic novel which contains masturbation, porn, and sexual acts. The district has since removed the book from the library.
Some of the books in question depict brutal rapes, Torola said. One portrays the victim as “deriving intense pleasure” from the rape, and most glorify drug use and encourage it, CC879 wrote in an email.
An excerpt from the book “Push” by Sapphire reads:
“My clit swell up think Daddy. Daddy sick me, disgust me, but still he sex me up. I nawshus in my stomach but hot in my twat and I think I want it back, the smell of the bedroom, the hurt-he slap my face till it sting and my ears sing separate songs from each other, call me names, pump in my pussy in out out in out aww I come. He bite me hard. A hump! A hump! He slams his hips into me HARD. I scream pain he come. He slap my thighs like cowboys do horses on TV. Shiver. Orgasm in my, his body shaking, grab me, call me Fat Mama, Big Hole! You LOVE it! Say you love it! I wanna say I DON’T. I wanna say I’m a chile. But my pussy popping like grease in frying pan. He slam me again. His dick soft. He start sucking my tittie.”
An excerpt from “All Boys Aren’t Blue” by George M. Johnson reads:
“You told me to take off my pajama pants, which I did. You then took off your shorts, followed by your boxers. There you stood in front of me fully erect and said, ‘Taste it.’ At first, I laughed and refused. But then you said, ‘Come on, Matt, taste it. This is what other boys like us do when we like each other.’ I finally listened to you. The whole time I knew it was wrong, not because I was having sexual intercourse with a guy, but that you were my family. I only did that for about forty-five seconds before you had me stop. Then you got down on your knees and told me to close my eyes. That’s when you began oral sex on me as well … After a minute or so, you stopped. You then laid me on the ground and got on top of me. You began humping me – back and forth back and forth — never penetrating me, though.”
An excerpt from the book “Crank” by Ellen Hopkins says:
“My shirt tore open. ‘Wait.’ I’ve waited for weeks. Put up and shut up. Kisses segued to bites. Bruises. Pain rippled through my body. ‘Brendan, please stop.’ No. You promised, you damn little tease. Off came my shorts. Down went his zipper. I realized I was in serious trouble. ‘I’ll scream.’ Go ahead. No one can hear but skunks and coyotes. Still, as I opened my mouth, his hand slapped down on it. Those sublime muscles hardened. Just relax. You’ll love it. My brand-new Victoria’s Secrets shredded, and I felt the worst of Brendan pause, savoring my terror. They all love it. Had he done it a different way, I might have responded with excitement. Instead, I froze as he pushed inside. There it is. Oh, God. There it goes. It went, all right, with an audible tear. Pain mushroomed into agony and all I could do was go stiff. You weren’t lying, you bitch! I laid there, sobbing, as he worked and sweated over me. Stoked by the monster, it took him a long time to finish. Give a line, I’ll give you an encore. He pulled away sticky and bloody. Throbbing inside and out, I didn’t move, didn’t dare look him in the eye.”
Torola said Delano Superintendent Matt Schoen should be doing more to enforce the district policies that are already in place.
“We have a very weak superintendent who refuses to uphold the standards and the policies that are already in place in our school,” Torola said. “He’s the reason all of this has been able to happen because he is unwilling to take any action. He’s created a culture of activism. Parents in our communities throughout the entire nation have been asleep at the wheel, and now people are finally waking up and taking a look at what’s in their schools.”
Schoen said he has not received a formal complaint about any book in the school library, and parents can contact the media center specialist and principal if they have an objection to reading material in the school media center.
CC879 said it has not made any recommendations on what actions should be taken because its mission “is to inform our community in the most transparent manner possible.”
If the complaint is not resolved at the school level, the next step is to contact the superintendent’s office.
“I will further investigate their concern,” Schoen said. “We usually do a review of the particular piece of literature in its full context. If we can’t clarify at that particular time [if the book is inappropriate], we’re working on a procedure to facilitate a parent to make a formal request for reconsideration of that particular piece of literature.”
He also said parents have access to all titles through the library system on the school website, and students don’t have to read books if a parent objects.
“It’s very simple. If it’s the parents’ preference that their child not check a book out, we can mark that in our school system where the student wouldn’t be able to check that book out,” Schoen said.
Schoen said the media center specialist currently selects books for the library. However, he said the district is currently putting together a procedure for procuring books.
Torola said he is angry because the district is not proactive.
“It’s strictly reactive. Instead of conducting an internal audit of their library system, they’re waiting until a parent has an issue with a book they find their kid reading. If the parent’s not very engaged, they may have no idea,” he said. “The administration is refusing to do an audit. They’re just saying, ‘Oh, well, if you take issue with it, then we’ll look into it on a case-by-case basis.'”
He said test scores in the district are in a downward trend, and teachers should be concerned with educating kids. CC879 wants to return the district to academic excellence, neutrality, and transparency.
Torola said parents can no longer have “blind trust” in their schools.
“People are unaware of the books in school libraries because they choose to believe their school wouldn’t expose their kid to this stuff. The more you dig, the more you realize the system is designed to do exactly the opposite,” he said.
Torola is encouraging parents and community members to attend the March 27 school board meeting.
“As a parent, I want my kids to maintain their innocence as long as possible,” Torola said. “The world’s a hard enough place, and they’ll be exposed to plenty once they’re an adult. It’s my job as a parent to allow that exposure for them. It’s not our school’s job. Our school needs to get back to the basics of teaching academics and excelling. That’s why we pay taxes.”
The Delano School Board meeting is March 27 at 7 p.m. at Delano City Hall Council Chambers.
Sheila Qualls is an award-winning journalist and former civilian editor of an Army newspaper. Prior to joining Alpha News, she was a Christian Marriage and Family columnist at Patheos.com and a personal coach. Her work has been published in The Upper Room, the MOPS blog, Grown and Flown, and The Christian Post. She speaks nationally on issues involving faith and family.