Virginia Regulatory Town Hall
Department of Education
State Board of Education
Regulations Governing Local School Boards and School Divisions [8 VAC 20 ‑ 720]
Action Amendments Regarding Use of Controversial or Sensitive Instructional Materials
Comment Period Ended on 1/15/2014
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1/7/14  5:13 pm
Commenter: Student

Amendment expands educational freedom

Throughout history, those who have supported "book burning" and censoring literature did so in an aim to limit educational freedom in their society. The proposed amendment, however, does the exact opposite. By allowing parents and students to have greater control of what they are exposed to in the classrooms that their tax dollars help build, their freedom to learn is actually being expanded.

Some may believe that it is necessary to expose students to language that depicts graphic sex, pedophillia, and other mature themes in order to properly educate them. If so, teachers and students are still free to explore whichever of these themes they choose in a classroom setting, and their right to do so is not infringed upon. That being said, for those who don't believe that we must explore how a man has sexual relations with animals, as vividly depicted in Beloved by Toni Morrison, to get the point across, this amendment is a relief.

If an English teacher chooses to include this book or others with similar themes into their curriculum, they are free to do so. This amendment simply asks that they notify parents and students before they read the book, as is already the proceedure with FLE programs and in-class videos. If you don't have a problem with the book, then absolutely nothing changes. If you do, you are provided with an alternative assignment, a policy already in place across the state, and everyone is happy.

CommentID: 29890