Agencies | Governor
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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7/31/22  9:49 am
Commenter: S Henry

Parents Rights for Whom?

I think most of us agree parents should, indeed, be actively involved in the education of their children. Likewise, most of us support a parent's or caregiver's right to ask for alternatives to reading material with which they are uncomfortable. And that parental / caregiver rights should extend to all. One group's viewpoint should not dictate what other parents may welcome. Targeted materials such as those in this legislation often contain content offering diverse points of view, and offer children and their families the sense of belonging as they see their experiences represented in literature. We know that learning about the experiences of others teaches empathy and grows understanding for those who may not share those histories. Applying broad definitions based on emotionally charged language does not serve all and is restrictive. This new legislation does not allow all parents to determine what books their children should read - please keep that in mind as you set policy. Please think of all the children and their families represented in Virginia schools. Better to acknowledge a broad range of experiences and cultivate an environment where students can discuss and hear and learn and grow where they will learn to contribute to a vibrant democracy where all voices are heard, rather than segregate some by relegating them to needing to find affirming literature outside of schools, and not having a community with which to share and process. 

CommentID: 124217