Virginia Regulatory Town Hall
Department of Education
State Board of Education
Guidance Document Change: The guidance document "Model Policies Concerning Instructional Materials with Sexually Explicit Content" was developed in conjunction with stakeholders in order to comply with SB656 (2022).
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7/16/22  11:05 am
Commenter: Kenneth Carlile

Strongly Opposed

This code and policy are extremely problematic. I understand that the VDOE cannot change the law, but there should be explicit mitigations of the law's potential worst effects. The policy must be amended to make it clear that simply because a piece of work contains LGBTQIA+ themes, that does not make it "sexually explicit." Similar standards that apply to heterosexual, cisgender materials should be applied to materials that include LGBTQIA+ themes or characters. 

Furthermore, the guidance places an undue burden on educators and administrators in that they must identify and maintain a list of any possibly "objectionable" material at all times on the website. Our educators are there to educate, not spend even more of their (and our childrens'!) precious time on administrative or clerical duties. 

I am the parent of 3 children in Virginia public schools, and thus far, I have been extremely happy with the education that they have been given as well as the openness and welcome that the schools have given all of us regardless of gender identity or sexual orientation. I value this aspect of our culture extremely highly, and I consider that this attempt at censorship (no matter what the act says, this is censorship) to be a dangerous counter to our values as a community, state, and country. 

Thank you, 

Kenneth D. Carlile

CommentID: 122585