I find it fascinating that the guidelines require any material rated PG activate the "notification to parents" process in grades K-5. Disney movies are rated PG as well as much of children's television programming. By 3rd grade most children have access to the internet and social media and too often are unsupervised by their caregivers. Parents seem to have no problem with this. 60% of high school students in VA have engaged in sexual activity before graduation. In a survey in Fairfax County 17% of middle schoolers were sexually active. These students need more knowledge, not less. What should be feared is ignorance, not an informed student body. LBGTQ children need to know they part of the human sexual diversity and should be accepted for themselves. I do not understand the fear of some parents that their children may be taught to be responsible in expressing their sexuality. We need to reduce teen pregnancy and STDs. We need to educate children in defining rape and to report such attacks, not fear doing so. We need to reduce depression and suicide among LGBTQ students by being inclusive. If parents don't want their children to read certain books, I would suggest the parents actually read the entire book and sit down with their children and discuss why the parent finds it unacceptable. The child will then find a way to read what is forbidden. And once the child is properly admonished, send them to their rooms where they can play video games filled with violence and misogyny. I strongly oppose HB656 just as I oppose returning to the Dark Ages. We have a responsiblity to our children to prepare them for their futures. That may involve uncomfortable conversations. Listen to the children. Ask them what they want. You just may find they fear not knowledge, but the unknown. The politicians have no business imposing their personal beliefs on the educational process, especially the old white men who want to go back to their version of the mythical 1950s. They do our children no service.
Parents have always had the ability to view their student's curriculum. They have always had the ability to request their children be given alternative material. They have always been able to meet with teachers and administration. The only thing new here is that some people have created a problem where none existed. We do not teach CRT in our public schools, but that has not stopped that controversy. All of these conspiracy theories must seen for what they are, an opportunity to instill fear and to give celebrity to politicians who now offer a solution to those fears. Enough. No more.