Agencies | Governor
Virginia Regulatory Town Hall
Agency
Department of Education
 
Board
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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8/2/22  9:48 am
Commenter: Jennifer Byrnes

Trust teachers
 
 

As a parent of two recent high school graduates, I'm much more concerned about overwork, stress, hunger, gun violence (including suicide) than about my children being exposed to sexually explicit materials.  We do not need political interference in the classroom.  Teachers are trained to teach - politicians are not.

We parents don't need sex and sexuality to be censored in schools. If we want to guide our children and talk about the beauty and danger of sexual activity and gender identity in our own homes, we most certainly can.  We have a full syllabus and can give our own spin on issues as we parents see fit.  Organic discussion that happens when people gather should be encouraged and guided by educators as appropriately determined by them - not distant politicians with an agenda.

Schools, however, are institutions of public knowledge and should not be censored. Schools need to include to all people, and they need to represent the diversity of human beings. The fact is, sex exists, LGBTQ+ people exist, and we aren't changing those things by not talking about them or making it harder for educators to talk about them. LGBTQ children have a disproportionate rate of suicide - being free to openly discuss issues and not being bullied can help reduce that.  Shrouding sex in secrecy doesn’t make it go away- just more difficult for young people to handle.

Basically, I trust professional educators and principals to choose developmentally appropriate material for their classrooms and their students - that’s what they are trained to do. I view them as partners in the raising of my child, and if I have an issue with something that's being taught, I can discuss it with my kids at home.  I welcome the opportunity to do that.  I want educators to teach and challenge my children.  For this reason, I strongly oppose SB 656.

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