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  11:26 am
Commenter: Deborah Winslow

Opposed to the Model Policy On Instruction Materials containing explicit content

These specific policies may have a chilling effect on education in today’s classrooms. This policy is the opposite of fostering critical thinking in our students. The policy definitions are overly broad. 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. Particularly worrisome is that model policy definitions linked to in the law and policy explicitly say that “homosexuality” triggers the law and limitations. People who are not heterosexual should NOT be considered “sexually explicit” by the Virginia Department of Education or Virginia public schools. These explicit materials policies are also duplicative of policies that already exist in Virginia, providing transparency into the libraries and curricula of public schools. Parents have always had the right to opt their child out of material in the classroom. In many school districts, all materials are approved by a committee that includes educators and parents/guardians. 

CommentID: 124771