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).
Previous Comment     Next Comment     Back to List of Comments
8/3/22  7:23 pm
Commenter: Melanie S.

Strongly OPPOSE
  1. 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. 

  2. 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.

  3. 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. 

I agree with the statement above from a parents group. Further, our librarians and teachers already follow policies in place that prohibit pornography etc in schools. Our educators need to be allowed to foster intellectual curiosity, not be bogged down in unnecessary paperwork. As a parent, I already can see what my child is learning and don’t want another parent who is homophobic, racist, transphobic etc. to be allowed to censor texts that have literary & educational merit just because. FReadom!

CommentID: 125944