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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8/2/22  8:30 pm
Commenter: A student and a librarian

Seriously? This ain't explicit...

Why is everyone getting upset over anything that isn't cishet presentation? Why is everyone so concerned about your child realizing they might not be straight? Why are you so afraid of your children hearing a story that might open their mind and improve their sense of empathy for their fellow humans? Serious question, why?

Why are you panicking about these books when there's uncertainty and horror in real life? And for that matter, why do you act like you want to shield your children when they probably already know everything you're hiding from them. They have the internet, don't they? You can very safely assume they already know. They know what rape is. They know what a pedophile is. They know what prostitution is. I learned this from the internet by the time I turned 12.

Frankly, nobody gets upset over violence in media--your kids see that black box everyday in books, TV shows, movies, social media, everywhere. It's saturated into our culture, even in the bible--and I haven't heard anyone seriously banning that book despite Amendment 1 preaches SEPARATION of "church" and state. (And Leviticus 18:22, 20:13, that "man must not lie with other men" is talking about rape and ritualistic prostitution; not safe, consensual sex with men or whoever you prefer to be with.)

So why get so upset over a coming-of-age tale? Or a coming-out-story? Have you read any of those? Those are actually pretty wholesome. And because this is currently what's called "an underground genre," they usually strike a real emotional chord and don't regurgitate those stories your great-grandmother probably read and found stale and cliched.

And to top it off. If there's a kid out there that's always felt different yet couldn't name why, then they read a book about a boy falling in love with a boy, or a girl with a girl, what have you, that might suddenly turn on a light bulb in their head. They've discovered something about themselves. That can potentially inspire people around them, too. The other children have known them forever and understand they're an ordinary person--not some absurd stereotype or caricature.

I know I can't change bigotry and narrow-mindedness over night--nobody can. Jesus didn't. But at least the children might. Maybe through learning and knowledge, the youth can surpass the elder's biases and ill-conceived notions.

Just a thought, from someone who saw this firsthand through close friends and family, and happens to have a thing for literature. (While we are supposed to "respect" our elders, the elders sure don't respect or perhaps care about the youth's needs.)

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