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  5:30 pm
Commenter: James

Strongly Oppose

This proposed "policy" has no educational merit whatsoever and is a foul waste of government time and resources.  Micromanaging the work of teachers and the themes and subject matter addressed in the classroom accomplishes nothing so much as pandering to ignorance.  The rest of our children should not be held back by the caprices of homophobes that want to police classrooms, nor should children who aren't straight be treated as second-class citizens.   This "policy" is a profound violation of the right of parents to a functioning public educational system that focuses its time, energy and resources on actually educating children.  It is not the "right" of any parent to forestall the educational progress of an entire classroom simply because their worldview is so delicate that "any description of" "sexual conduct" requires their sign-off.  "Sexual conduct" itself could conceivably be read broadly enough to include things like kissing.  The terms used in this "policy" are overbroad and interfere with broad swathes of curriculum, particularly in biology, literature, and history courses.   At a bare minimum, the proposed definition of "sexually explicit content" should be narrowed.   As written, it conceivably applies to discussions of animal life cycles, and would almost certainly capture literary classics like Romeo & Juliet.  This is a ridiculous intrusion into the normal functioning of a classroom.  And the Department should show an ounce of courage and clarify that, as long as this asinine law is in force, it does not cover innocent displays of affection, regardless of gender.

Finally, the proposal to require a separate section on a school website for parental review is absurd (V.A-B).  If the Department were truly concerned about the dissemination of "sexually explicit content," rather than interfering in the work of educators and creating meaningless make-work, it might recognize that collecting all of this so-called "explicit" material together where anyone (including, you know, children) can access it, is counterproductive.  If a parent is worried about the teaching materials, they can visit the school and view the content there, or arrange for the list and examples to be distributed directly via email.  

CommentID: 124892