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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8/3/22  9:47 am
Commenter: Network NOVA

OPPOSE: Model Policies Concerning Instructional Materials with Sexually Explicit Content

The policy definitions are overly broad; therefore, “sexually explicit” materials could include books that have been in school curricula for decades, such as both William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet or Toni Morrison’s Beloved. Teachers are the arbiters of “explicit” content, which means that they have two options: a) develop two separate curriculums, or b) choose the most innocuous, least challenging materials to ensure that they are not violating the policy. Neither of these options are palatable for teachers, students, or families. They will lead to censorship within public schools, particularly censorship of books about LGBTQIA characters and issues. Even civil rights lessons could be censored to exclude rights for non-heterosexual and non-cisgender people.


CommentID: 124735