|Action||Amendments Regarding Use of Controversial or Sensitive Instructional Materials|
|Comment Period||Ends 1/15/2014|
Commenter: Bob Wallace, Stafford High School Librarian *
"Physician, Heal Thyself!"
If the ramifications of this policy weren't so serious, I would find a bit of humor in the concept. Students listening to rap music obscenities, viewing any and all adult content on their technology devices, and the language used in the halls on a daily basis gives me pause to think about parental discipline at home. I fully realize that our present culture for young people presents them with toxic role models to emulate. The idea of protecting students from "sensitive" materials in school simply flies in the face of logic, given that for many individuals, school is most likely the only entity where they can find a semblance of normalcy. Exposure to issues of race, gender, sexual activity, genocide, and drugs by teaching professionals, in an academic setting where ignorance and misconceptions are replaced with factual information, seems to me to be a far preferable alternative. I know some parents who monitor their children's exposure to media, but based on my informal surveys of asking students what limitations they have at home, the majority are free to view and listen to whatever, and whenever they wish. Could staying up until 3:00 a.m. playing Halo 4, trying to get a high body count, be considered too sensitive? Watching pornography on their computer while shut up in their room with no one around? Teachers and Librarians are well-equipped to present controversial materials to students, and allowing them to reach their own conclusions through though-provoking discussions. The Head-in-the-Sand approach being embraced here yet again by Legislators does a tremendous disservice to both educators and students. Instead of allowing young people to "Opt Out" of discussions of crucial issues that affect them on a daily basis, let teachers do the job for which they were hired, and not saddle them with even more restrictions.