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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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7/18/22  11:45 am
Commenter: Michael Rivera, parent

Support the model policies, preserve the innocence of children

I have chosen to support the policies because the government has gone too far with regards to topics regarding morality and sex. It is not the job of the public education system to teach my child how to have sex, regardless of whether it is gay, heterosexual, safe sex or otherwise.

I am not looking to ban books, I am insisting that parents be the one who decide if, how, and when to expose their children to sexually explicit materials. In order to learn about LGBT people and their accomplishments and contributions to society, it is NOT necessary to teach a child about explicit gay sex and that material can be found in schools today.

Consider this: if you would not let a strange adult male talk to your 12 year old daughter about butt sex in a mall why would you let a male teacher do the same, potentially alone with her in a classroom?

My redline comments are below:


Sample Policy (with comments in red)


The following Sample Policy is provided for consideration or use by local school boards as they develop and implement their policies in compliance with the Act.


I. Purpose

To establish clear procedures for schools to (i) identify all instructional materials with

sexually explicit content, (ii) ensure parental notification of any instructional materials

with sexually explicit content, (iii) permit parents to review all instructional materials

with sexually explicit content, and (iv) ensure alternative instructional materials, that do

not include sexually explicit content, are provided in a non-punitive manner for any

student whose parent so requests.


II. Definitions


A1. Section 2.2-2827 of the Virginia Code states that “Sexually explicit content”

“means (i) any description of or (ii) any picture, photograph, drawing, motion

picture film, digital image or similar visual representation depicting sexual

bestiality, a lewd exhibition of nudity, as nudity is defined in Section 18.2-390,

sexual excitement, sexual conduct or sadomasochistic abuse, as also defined in

Section 18.2-390, coprophilia, urophilia, or fetishism.”


A2  Sexually explicit content shall also include the following whether in realistic graphic form, cartoon,  or written text regarding heterosexual,  homosexual, or transexual content:


  • Depictions of sexual activity
  • Explanation and “how to” material describing sex
  • Depictions or endorsements of sex work such as prostitution, sex for pay, sex trafficking, or child sex activity
  • Depictions of pornography in any form be it related to adults or children
  • Depictions or endorsements of sexual activity or contraception for any children outside of the materials used in the context of Family and Life Education (i.e. Health Ed).


B. The Code of Virginia Section 22.1-1 defines “parent” or “parents” as “any

parent, guardian, legal custodian, or other person having control or charge of a



C. For the purposes of these Model Policies, the phrases “instructional material”

and “instructional materials” mean any content used by one or more students

for an educational purpose, regardless of (a) its format, whether printed,

representational, audiovisual, electronic, or digital (such as materials and software

applications accessible through the internet), or (b) the time, place and manner in

which the content is used.


Library materials are shall be considered instructional materials

when present in any classroom libraries or school libraries except that materials in public libraries outside of school shall not be affected by this policy. used (i) for completion of an assignment, or (ii) as part of an academic or extracurricular educational program. This includes any division, school, and/or classroom purchased or created assessments. However, the The phrases “instructional material” and “instructional materials” shall include do not include (i) standardized national or state assessments, such ACT, SAT, NAEP, and AP or SOL exams to which children in K-12 may be exposed, (ii) any and all materials selected by teachers at their discretion to be used in their classrooms to supplement curriculum provided by the school but that does not go through a formal parental review process, (iii) materials used during advisory/homeroom including news reels, YouTube or other online videos, handouts, websites, editorial articles, and newspapers.


III. Identification of Instructional Materials with Sexually Explicit Content


A. Leadership in cooperation with parents at each school shall establish a process for identifying instructional materials with sexually explicit content.


B. Prior to the start of the academic year, schools shall identify the specific

instructional materials that include sexually explicit content which may be used

during upcoming school year. When determining whether instructional materials

contain sexually explicit content, parents, teachers, principals, and division staff should

consider student age and maturity, and whether a parent might reasonably

consider the instructional content harmful to their child.


C. In concert with the definitions and terminology provided herein, parents, teachers,

principals and division staff should consider the following when determining

whether parent notification is required:


1. Parents of children in any grade should be notified in advance when any

portion of instruction materials to be used are rated Mature Audience

(MA) or R will be used;


2. Parents of children in grades K-8 should be notified in advance when any

portion of instruction materials to be used are rated PG-13 or TV-14;


3. Parents of children in grades K-5 should be notified in advance when any

portion of instruction materials to be used are rated PG or TV-PG; and


4. With respect to unrated instructional materials, parents should be notified

if any portion contains sexually explicit content. Parents alone shall have the final say as to whether or not their child is exposed to materials defined by this policy.


5. At no time may any employee of the school district engage in the review or purchasing of sexually explicit materials without strict adherence to this policy. Review of all sexually explicit or potentially sexually explicit materials shall involve parents at all stages of the review process.


6. In the event that sexually explicit materials currently in the school system are identified by parents, notice shall be made to school administration and those materials shall be removed temporarily until a proper review can be made according to this policy.


IV. Notice to Parents


A. At least thirty (30) (60) days prior to the use of any instructional materials with

sexually explicit content, principals shall provide written and electronic  notice to parents that (i) specifically identifies the instructional materials with sexually explicit content, (ii)

informs parents of their right to review such instructional materials, (iii) informs parents of their right to have their child use, in a non-punitive manner, alternative, instructional materials that do not include sexually explicit content, and (iv) parents shall have the right to exclude their child from being exposed to sexually explicit content entirely even if alternative materials are not available. At no time may the school administration ostracize, single out, or target any children whose parents opt them out of sexually explicit material.


B. Such notice should be provided in writing to parents by U.S. mail, e-mail, and/or

in person at a parent-teacher meeting.


V. Parental Right to Review of Instructional Materials with Sexually Explicit Content and Right to Alternative Instructional Materials


A. Principals shall maintain a current list of instructional materials with sexually

explicit content by grade and subject on the school’s public website including materials that are not specifically identified in the curriculum but are chosen by and at the discretion of teachers to be used in their classrooms.


B. Principals shall provide online access for parental review of instructional

materials that include sexually explicit content, unless not technically feasible or

prohibited by copyright protection. Schools shall also have available at the school

for parent review all instructional materials that include sexually explicit content. Copyright protection shall not limit or diminish the right of parents to review sexually explicit content as defined in this policy.


C. Schools shall defer to parents to determine whether the use of sexually explicit

content in instructional materials, if any, is appropriate for their child.


D. Upon a parent’s request, schools shall provide, in a manner that is not punitive,

alternative instructional materials for the student that do not include sexually

explicit content.


E. Parents may change their decision with respect to the use of alternative

instructional materials by providing notice to the school.


VI Violations of Policy


  1. The school board shall work with the school district’s Human Resources Department to develop and adopt a policy that addresses violation of this policy by teachers, staff, librarians, and administrators


CommentID: 122712