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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8/3/22  11:29 am
Commenter: Virginia Academy of School Psychologists

Comment on SB 656

The Virginia Academy of School Psychologists supports school psychologists in promoting and advocating for the educational and mental health development for all of Virginia's students, families, and communities.  We are ethically obligated to ensure all youth are able to develop and express their personal identities in a school climate that is safe, accepting, and respectful of all persons and free from discrimination, harassment, violence, and abuse.  VASP acknowledges the impact of race, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression in our interactions with students, families, and the school community.  All youth are resilient and can thrive in environments where they feel safe, supported, and valued.

Most school divisions already have review policies in place if an individual parent has a concern about particular instructional materials.  As professionals in the public school setting, we must continue to trust our school librarians to curate quality literature for students.  VASP continues to respect and have confidence in the decisions of professional educators regarding what materials they use in curriculum.  

All youth are entitled to equal opportunities to participate in and benefit from affirming and supportive educational and mental health services within schools.  We are hopeful that our schools will continue to provide a wide range of instructional materials representing our communities, populations, and their stores, and that the ideas and values expressed in our statement are incorporated into the guidance.  

Thank you,

VASP Executive Board

CommentID: 124772