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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1/15/14  4:26 pm
Commenter: Jennifer Beckett

I support the Board of Education's amendment to the regulation

Reading sexually explicit material is not necessary to increase a student's ability to understand plot, setting, character, theme, mood, structure, tone, language, narrative mode, or voice - all the basic literary elements. Shouldn't those be the focus of English classes? Yes, human drama is the subject of great literature, often including the sordid things that people do, but  let's have some common sense and read A Streetcar Named Desire instead of The Bluest Eye.  Both novels include rape but one is insinuated and the other is graphically detailed. Which requires more of the reader? Which detracts from the point?  I daresay that most educators and legislators would be embarrassed to publicly stand and read aloud from some of the material our children are forced to read. Controversy is fine but let's keep dignity while we're at it. And if you can't do that, then at the very least notify the parents of your choice. Not all parents have the luxury of time to pre-read the materials their children are assigned. Please pass the amendment.

CommentID: 30783