Parents in Moorpark Unified School District reached out to Parents Defending Education with concerns about professional development and resources on the district website. One parent expressed the following:
Having attended school board meetings as a concerned parent for almost a year, the Moorpark Unified School District is not transparent about the curricula being taught, or what’s involved in the staff training that [sic] justified as “Professional Development” approved with massive funding from the state as COVID-related funding.
Moorpark Unified School District provides resources on its website to help parents educate their children outside of the classroom. In one resource titled “50 Books All Kids Should Read Before They’re 12,” the school district redirects parents to the website of the nonprofit Common Sense Media. One book that Common Sense Media promotes on the list is Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You by Ibram X. Kendi. Another book Common Sense Media promotes is titled Front Desk. Common Sense Media’s description of the book explains that some of the characters run away from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
Another resource on the school district’s website is “Best Documentaries for Kids and Families” and also redirects parents to Common Sense Media. One documentary listed is titled I, Pastafari: A Flying Spaghetti Monster Story. Common Sense Media explains that the “noodle-oriented movement teasingly mocks organized religion.” Another documentary listed is called The Most Dangerous Year. The documentary discusses gender dysphoria. Common Sense Media explains that the “film is thoughtful and sympathetic, and most of its subjects emerge as heroes who show the courage and integrity to live their lives as they please.”
Common Sense Media is an organization that helps parents and educators filter content that is suitable for children. However, equity now appears to be the focal point of the organization. Common Sense Media claimed in a statement: “We believe that standing for justice and equity can only be achieved when we commit to addressing racism and bigotry throughout the media and technology industries.” The nonprofit continued to say that it is “striving toward representation and equity” in its staff and users.
Moorpark Unified School District also has a “Wellness Center” website that promotes Social-Emotional Learning (SEL). This website promotes resources from CASEL, including CASEL’s roadmap for reopening schools plan that promotes racial equity. The school district also links to a document from CASEL called “3 Signature Practices” that appears to focus on “creating and sustaining equitable learning and working environments.” CASEL published a video last year titled “SEL As a Lever for Equity and Social Justice.”
The school district’s Wellness Center website also contains resources for “LGBTQ+ Students.” One of the resources is called “Trans Lifeline” that provides resources to help people change their federal ID. The organization also appears to advocate against calling the police and even links to a website called “Defund The Police.” Another resource is called “LGBTQ+ Youth Resources” and links to a CDC website that provides further resources for teenagers to “find some answers” if they are questioning their sexual orientation.