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).
The proposed policies and changes will result in the censorship of youth and creating a space of control rather than free speech and expression.
“Sexually explicit content” as defined in the Virginia code casts a wide net on what
materials on which it falls. For example, the definition of “sexually explicit content”
includes “sexual conduct” which is further defined to include "homosexuality.”
Such a broad definition is likely to lead teachers, librarians, and school administrators to restrict access to instructional materials that includes or are written by LGBTQ people. The impact would not only be LGBTQ students being treated as “other” and pushed into the shadows but removing such a broad category of literature detracts from the richness and diversity of our nation and potentially prevents LGBTQ youth from accessing life saving information about themselves.
I implore you to not move this legislation forward.