Senate Bill 656 is a completely inappropriate, ignorant, and fear-driven piece of legislation. Virginia deserves better than this for our students.
I was lucky enough to attend Mary Washington University for an undergraduate degree. Many of the friends I made there majored in education, some elementary and some secondary - going on to become teachers after graduation. These dedicated people have both the education and experience to know how to teach children about this whole wide world. They should be allowed to do that without censorship, especially censorship that attempts to further marginalize groups who deserve safety and support like the LGBTQIA+ community.
Teachers are some of the most qualified humans anywhere to help students, from the kindergartners all the way up through high schoolers, learn how to critically reflect on material and opinions spanning the entire human experience. I am embarrassed that my state legislators think they know better than our teachers how to help students succeed. Virginia students deserve an education that will allow them to become their own, independent thinkers. We can only do that by letting our teachers teach. On a related note, one reliable trend when we look to history: the folks trying to censor books and learning are never the good guys. I reject this small-minded legislation and want to urge Virginia’s lawmakers to do better.