My name is David Walrod. I am a thirteen-year educator, the parent of a 10-year-old, and the president of the Fairfax County Federation of Teachers.
Imagine for a second a book which contains detail about a sexual relationship between a 13-year-old girl and the man who murdered her cousin. Imagine further that the book details the girl's drug overdose, given to her by her priest, to avoid a forced marriage to a man over twice her age. Upon waking up from her overdose, she sees the body of her lover and promptly kills herself. Inappropriate for public schools? Well... no. The book described here is Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare.
The simple reality is that this law's actual intent is to stamp out voices of BIPOC and LGBTQ+ authors and readers. Representation matters. Parents should be free to choose to opt their own children out of lessons or materials they see as troubling, but no other parent should have the right to make educational decisions for MY daughter.
Virginia students deserve to grow up into brave, courageous people who value diversity and inclusion. We are all better off when young people are encouraged to embrace diversity, equity, and inclusion.
It is for these reasons that I oppose the proposed model policies.