Equality Loudoun is an LGBTQ+ advocacy organization based in Loudoun County, VA and is dedicated to providing equitable education to all students. On the basis of parental notification, we do not oppose the notification of parents regarding materials that are sexually explicit. That is a common sense initiative that the overwhelming majority of parents support.
However, the way this policy is written allows a wide array of subjectivity on what is an is not sexually explicit. Importantly, topics such as reproductive rights, contraceptives, bodily autonomy, consent, and family-life education that is taught in a manner that enables and empowers students to make decisions on their lives are important to family planning, preventing sexual assault, preventing teen pregnancies, and more.
Most importantly, this bill cites Virginia State Code on sexual content that defines LGBTQ+ individuals as sexually explicit, directly quoted as written as "homosexuality". To include this would lead to the censorship of important LGBTQ+ stories, the stigmatization of queer youth, and the erasure of gay and trans identities. The effects of this are clear and direct- children will be at greater risk of violence, harassment, depression, suicide, and more negative effects at being "othered" within their school systems. We implore you to not pass this policy as written and to more carefully define the parameters of shared community beliefs about age appropriate literature.