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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7/26/22  8:47 am
Commenter: Amanda Jackson

Parental Rights Go Both Ways

While much has been said about this bill protecting parental rights, I think it's important to clarify that the only parental rights what are being protected are the rights of parents who DON'T want their kids to read books that show opposing view points, introduce new cultures, provide words for experiences that children may otherwise not have the words to express, allow for bibliotherapy for traumatized children, teach empathy and understanding. It does not protect the rights of parents and children who do want and sometimes desperately need this literature to exist. I agree that each family has a right to determine what media content is appropriate for their children to consume, but I don't believe this bill does that. I believe this bill is another attempt to vilify content that we would rather pretend doesn't exist. Prohibiting books that have LGBTQ characters, or that describe traumatic experiences, doesn't prevent those experiences or those people from being very real. It only serves to isolate those individuals. Study after study shows how harmful that is. If we truly wanted to protect our children, we would use books as tools to provide words for experiences, and use the classroom as a place to develop critical thinking skills and build emotional intelligence and empathy. We WILL be embarrassed by this moment in our history, the same way our grandparents were embarrassed by the hateful rhetoric of the anti-Civil Rights movement. The question remains, which side will you find yourself on?

CommentID: 124012