Re: Model Policies Concerning Instructional Materials with Sexually Explicit Content
The Virginia Public School System is not providing school children with sexually explicit instructional material with the exception of the family life curriculum and guardian consent is required for that most basic of biological discussions. If there was an issue with sexually explicit content in our school buildings there would be data to support the claim of such an issue.
If guardians are concerned with their student’s access to such materials, then they should have conversations with the adults in their student’s school building. A quick meeting with the classroom teacher, school counselor, school librarian, and/or principal would allow the concerned guardian to express their concerns. Of course, that’s not what this proposal is about.
The job of the Public School System is to equip students with an academic baseline that they can apply in their pursuit of gainful employment. U.S. Public Schools carry the additional burden of social-emotional learning and an aspect of responsibility for the health and wellness of the nation’s children, often without public support for these necessary components of education. This means ALL children who occupy space in the public school system deserve fair representation and access. They deserve representative characters in their literature and representative role models in their educators.
The role of the guardian in regards to public schooling is to decide what is right for their student and only their student. If there is content that a guardian prefers inaccessible for their student, then it is the parent’s job to speak with the student’s school on behalf of their student only. If the school and guardian are unable to come to a solution then it is the guardian’s prerogative to continue sending their student to public school or to look for alternate schooling options. It is not, has never been, nor will it ever be the guardian’s role to decide what educational materials all children can access.
This policy seeks to solve a problem that doesn’t exist and I strongly oppose it.