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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8/1/22  1:19 pm
Commenter: Mitch Irvin

Strongly Oppose

Free Appropriate Public Education is meant to prepare the next generation to become learned, well rounded, productive members of society upon graduation.  This policy is intentionally broad in nature in reference to “sexually explicit material” within texts used by teachers in the classroom and is particularly concerning that, within this policy’s scope, the word “homosexuality” and words like it related to the LGBTQ+ community could eliminate certain texts from the curriculum.  The words “homosexual” or “gay” are no more sexually explicit than words like “heterosexual” or “straight” or “conservative Christian”.  By ridding the school of texts with such words in them, the state is actively admitting that a whole group of people (parents, students, teachers, administrators, etc.) don’t deserve representation within the curriculum they learn or teach from.  One group of people does not have the right to completely ignore and erase another group of people just because they don’t agree with them.  LGBTQ+ people won’t disappear if these texts are removed, they will just feel more isolated and degraded than they already do.  This means our teachers and students will not feel represented within the classrooms they are a part of.  
The fact of the matter is that parents currently have the right to opt out of any text they don’t want their child to read or have exposure to.  There is no need for further policy when one currently exist.  To approve this new policy and eliminate any text for mentioning “homosexuality” then becomes less of a case for protecting our children and more of a case of trying to ignore and remove an entire group of people. Would it be any different than excluding people that didn’t have blonde hair or blue eyes?  We saw where that got us decades ago and hopefully have the ability, in part thanks to our public education system, to discern that this is a very similar perilous path.

CommentID: 124365