Virginia Regulatory Town Hall
Department of Education
State Board of Education
Guidance Document Change: The guidance document "Model Policies Concerning Instructional Materials with Sexually Explicit Content" was developed in conjunction with stakeholders in order to comply with SB656 (2022).
Previous Comment     Next Comment     Back to List of Comments
7/16/22  3:21 pm
Commenter: Lynn Bradley

Concerns about Implementation of SB 656

It seems obvious that SB 656 is intended to "protect" children from learning about lifestyles and cultures to which their parents object. However, there are many many citizens of Virginia for whom those same lifestyles/cultures are normal, and thus, pretending (by omission) that they do not exist has the practical effect of denying the right to exist to a sizable proportion of the population.

People of color as well as "white" people are aware that racism exists, so that failure to teach our young people how to live with their history would be a grave disservice to them.  Likewise, science now knows that humans have inborn and undeniable gender characteristics as well as sexual preferences, and whether or not adults want their children to know that we are not all alike, the children will experience those differences in their lives.  Better that they know and understand the variations among people than not.

This legislation is abominable, and only with very careful consideration of how best to implement it without inviting one group's religious beliefs into the school system will be a challenge, no doubt, but you MUST make best efforts to respect the rights and privileges of ALL citizens with respect to what is taught in public schools. 

If parents truly wish their children to be sheltered from how others live their lives, then those parents have the alternatives of choosing a private school aligned with their preferences or home-schooling. It would be legally and ethically wrong to impose restrictions demanded by some on the entire population -- please avoid that scenario as you create regulations to implement this law.


CommentID: 122614