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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8/1/22  12:53 pm
Commenter: E. Lewis

Oppose this bill!

This bill would remove the ability of schools to teach entire classes if one person objects.  Schools are places where we trust teachers and administrators to create and lead effective curricula to result in young people who can read carefully, reason thoughtfully, and debate respectfully so that they can become productive members of society. This bill would empower a person (perhaps a parent, perhaps a community member) to quash a carefully designed curriculum based on no good reason and would make classes and schools impossible to run effectively.  

This is the legal definition of "sexually explicit" (per VA Code Sec. 2.2-2827): "Sexually explicit content" means (i) any description of or (ii) any picture, photograph, drawing, motion picture film, digital image or similar visual representation depicting sexual bestiality, a lewd exhibition of nudity, as nudity is defined in § 18.2-390, sexual excitement, sexual conduct or sadomasochistic abuse, as also defined in § 18.2-390, coprophilia, urophilia, or fetishism.  Generally speaking, who could be opposed to keeping this from children?  But in practice, no teachers will be asking students to look at explicit pornography; instead, a book might have a paragraph or two that skates to the edge of this description. Should a teacher have to eschew a valuable text because of a page or two?  I say no.

CommentID: 124357