My name is Christine Jones Monaccio and I am a parent of two elementary school girls in Chesterfield, Virginia.
As the VDOE crafts policies concerning instructional materials with “sexually explicit content”, I want to share my perspective.
The public school system was created to educate our future adults. Our teachers, librarians, educators, and administrators spend a considerable amount of time in higher education learning about child development to become highly qualified to pick appropriate materials for children and youth. They are very prepared to introduce all different subjects to them, including those that have diverse perspectives and experiences. I trust them to use their vast training and judgment to know what is appropriate and am not at all worried about them introducing inappropriate “sexually explicit content”.
What I am VERY worried about is a handful of fear-based fringe parents, with loud voices dictating what is right for the rest of us.
Let’s allow our teachers to do their job.
America was built upon the idea of freedom. I believe in the freedom of sharing stories through literature. As a lifelong Virginian and a parent, I believe that our future is more prosperous when our students, who will one day be future adults, have the freedom to learn, in an age-appropriate manner, about diverse viewpoints and experiences. The proposed model policies could lead to the exclusion of valuable instructional materials. I feel it is especially important not to restrict students from hearing LGBTQ+ voices. One in five Gen Z youth identifies as LGBTQ+ according to a recent Gallup poll. What message are we sending to twenty percent of our youth if we censor their voices? What impact does this have on the future of Virginia?
Let’s allow our students to learn.
It is for these reasons that I oppose the proposed model policies.