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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7/24/22  11:15 am
Commenter: Amy Cannon

Strongly Oppose SB 656

I am a parent in Prince William County, Va. LGBTQ+ lives are not sexually explicit, just by existing. Stories that contain LGBTQ+ characters are not sexually explicit, just by existing. LGBTQ+ kids, and kids of LGBTQ+ parents, should be able to find representations of themselves and their families in books at their schools. No parents should be allowed to dictate what other people's children are allowed to read. If parents want to dictate what their own kids can read, they should home-school their children, or send them to private schools, not try to dictate the content for everyone else's children. Society benefits from a well-read, well-educated population. Sometimes, good literature might make someone uncomfortable. It might make them think about the world, or themselves, on a deeper level. Learning about the history of our country, with all of the good and the bad, might make people uncomfortable. That in itself is not a bad thing. People with empathy should feel discomfort at some of the things this country did and does, even now. No country or person is perfect, and learning that may cause some discomfort too. School is meant to teach, not to avoid discomfort. Reality can sometimes be uncomfortable. Teach students how to cope with uncomfortable truths, instead of pretending nothing will ever be presented to them that might bother them.

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