Virginia Regulatory Town Hall
Department of Education
State Board of Education
Regulations Governing Local School Boards and School Divisions [8 VAC 20 ‑ 720]
Action Amendments Regarding Use of Controversial or Sensitive Instructional Materials
Comment Period Ended on 1/15/2014
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1/14/14  11:32 am
Commenter: K. Smith

I do not agree with Amendments Regarding Use of Controversial or Sensitive Instructional Materials

I do not agree with the amendment because it is limiting our First Amendment rights in allowing our children to read materials that would allow them to think outside perimeters set by the state.  Also, the amendment is very ambiguous and doesn't state exactly what is sensitive and controversial.  My schools system has been ranked number five in the nation, and we take pride in our students having great rigor and performance levels. Many of the books that students read could be considered offensive, controversial, and sensitive. For example, the Iliad by Homer discuses a war started because of adultery, and is very violent. The Hunger Games serious totalitarian government in which two children (boy and girl) are made to fight yearly in order to remind them that it is important that they keep their totalitarian government or chaos could happen again.  These stories allow students to think about consequences of what can happen if we do not respect humanity and have good morals. Yes, there are some situations in which I want to shelter my students, but life is not always appropriate or sensitive to their needs. Life is controversial, unfair, and difficult sometimes. If the government sugar coats everything students read or make every student assignment reading seem wholesome, many of them will not be able to cope with real world issues or think beyond their perfect Utopia.  We are creating future world citizens, who need to be able to think beyond the high school building. Lastly, the state government will now be wasting taxpayers’ money because school districts will have to replace literature if the government deems the literature controversial and sensitive material.

CommentID: 30419