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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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7/28/22  11:55 am
Commenter: Keith W.

Cannot Stress Definitions and Teacher Protections Enough

I've hesitated to comment a second time, but feel like I must. I realize that this bill has passed, and these comments are about implementation, not whether there are going to be statewide policies. But when I look at some of these comments--especially ones talking about "groomers," comments demanding "lifetime imprisonment for pedophlia," etc., I think there's clearly an "unwoke mob" mentality out there. Another parent commented, "AP classes are designed to make kids competitive" (though "competitive" with and for what wasn't specified). Well, if you want kids to be competitive, you definitely don't want some of these folks combing lists of classroom materials to identify or misidentify "sexually explicit materials," and raising a storm of "pedophilia/groomer" accusations against some teacher who decided to assign a novel with gay characters, or where kids or adults talk about sexuality, or curse. This kind of thing is partly what is meant by "censorship," though obviously it can include demands that the book not be taught anywhere to anyone, removed from the school or even public library, etc. Saying "this bill should not be construed to support censorship" is not likely to be enough. The actual policies should be written in such a way as to actually prevent censorship and make sure that if parents can insist on alternative assignments for their students, neither should the teacher be punished for choice of text.

CommentID: 124118