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).
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7/18/22  11:17 am
Commenter: Susannah H.

A parent is their child's *first* teacher, but not their *only* teacher

I'm a lifelong Virginian and, from elementary school to graduating from the University of Virginia, I have had much personal experience with the transformative possibilities of expansive and inclusive public education. I am deeply concerned about the model policies' definition of "sexually explicit content", a term so vague that it could apply to anything from "The Great Gatsby" to the story of Lot's daughters in the Bible.

As the mother of a 5 year old girl about to enter into the Virginia Public School system, I know firsthand: a parent is their child's *first* teacher, but not their *only* teacher. The role of parents-as-educators is to give our children the existential frameworks of personal belief systems and morality so that our children are empowered to go into the world at large, to study and experience the expansive entirety of human history, narrative, and possibility—and synthesize how it relates to them. THIS IS CALLED LEARNING. Classrooms should be a place of exploration, of growth, and exposure to different ways of thinking, being, living, and understanding. THIS IS WHAT LEARNING IS.

If parents are doing their jobs, their role as "educators" is to give their children the critical thinking skills to experience all perspectives and apply their own judgments to the world at large. The role of one parent is not to decide what is and what is not "appropriate" for a whole school full of kids. That is simple censorship.

I oppose the proposed model policies.

Parents do YOUR job at home and let educators do THEIRS at school.

CommentID: 122707