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  7:20 pm
Commenter: Molly Clarkson, NBCT

Oppose model policies designed to encourage censorship

As a Virginia parent and National Board Certified teacher of English Language Arts I strongly oppose the overly broad language of this policy, which is designed to produce a climate of censorship the will inevitably fall on marginalized communities. The overtly broad definition of “sexually explicit content” will never be used to challenge, remove or silence the teaching of something like Shakespeare’s plays, despite the fact that these often imply or depict sexuality in ways that some might find objectionable. Instead, it will inevitably be used to silence the voices of LGBTQ+ authors, and BIPOC authors whose work might speak to the lived experiences of students today. Adopting a policy in a vacuum, with the assumption that it will not have this effect is either willfully ignorant of the political climate or actively trying to achieve exactly this end. This policy takes power away from professional educators closest to the classroom and places it in the hands of elected politicians who deliberately seek to use this as a ploy for their own self promotion. 

As a parent and a teacher, I support freedom of choice, expression, and representation for all kids in Virginia, not censorship by the loudest “parents” on Twitter.



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