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  11:31 am
Commenter: Aidan

This bill is harmful to students, teachers, and education in VA. I strongly oppose.

I absolutely oppose this bill. This legislation is overly broad and even a narrow reading of it is harmful for students, school staff, and teachers. My initial concern is with defining sexually explicit content with such a broad brush, eliminating some of the most important literature classics as well as important lessons in English and History. However, a closer reading shows that homosexuality and other LGBTQ issues are included in this material. This would therefore ban the discussion of important societal issues and stigmatize against already marginalized communities. The purpose of this bill is clearly to protect children, but the actions taken within the bill only harm children by not allowing them to learn and grow in  our society. Parents can currently choose what their children are participating in, so this legislation is not necessary. Also, the committees that approve the material taught in schools are not just randomly choosing curriculum. These are targeted materials designed to increase learning. I hope you will consider that children being restricted from learning about all materials is only setting them up to be more naive on certain issues and lead to more confusion, misunderstanding, uncomfortable conversations, and hatred towards groups out of ignorance. If that is what the intention of this legislation is, then there is clearly a fundamental disconnect on how society should function, but if the intention is to help children, this legislation would be immediately tossed and legislation such as expanding history and English texts to include material that represents broader segments of the public as well as providing increased opportunities for learning would be the forefront of your priorities instead of restricting access, taking away a parent’s opportunity to choose for themselves and their child what is appropriate.

CommentID: 124773