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).
Previous Comment     Next Comment     Back to List of Comments
8/3/22  8:30 pm
Commenter: Lee Walzer

Strongly Oppose

I strongly oppose adoption of this Guidance Document on "Sexually Explicit" materials in schools because it's creating a mostly made-up problem in search of a "solution."  The most significant impact of the document will be censorship of serious literature - Nabakov's Lolita comes to mind - as well as fiction directed at teens - everything/everyone from Judy Blume (popular when I was a teen) to books and fiction depicting the struggles of LGBTQ teens if those books contain depictions of sexual activity (of seemingly any orientation).

As a taxpayer, I'm appalled that the Secretary of Education seems to be obsessed with certain sexual acts - sadomasochism! (really?!!) - that really are not part of anyone's school experience.  The Secretary seems determined to create sexual panic among Virginia parents and wants to impose censorship on what students can read.  Such censorship is likely to be arbitrary and disparately impact LGBTQ students and potentially life-saving/affirming literature.

At a time when Virginia's business ranking is on the decline due to Governor Youngkin's cultural jeremiads, this Guidance Document likely will cause companies to look elsewhere rather than invest in Virginia because it's clear from the Guidance Document that the Secretary of Education is spending precious little time on creating a world-class education for Virginia students.

CommentID: 126967