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Virginia Regulatory Town Hall
Agency
Department of Education
 
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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  9:33 pm
Commenter: Libya Doman

Opposed to SB 656
 

Hello,

My name is Libya Doman.  I teach in Fairfax County Public Schools.

I am deeply concerned about SB 656.  The bill makes little attempt to clarify what "sexually explicit" actually means.  It is harmful to affirm a bill with broadly, vague terminology such as  "sexually explicit content. " This lack of specificity has the potential to severely limit how highly educated and developed teacher effectively engage content that recognizes gender, gender identity, gender expression, and gender orientation. 

To be frank, these identities are commonly inferred every time a student refers to their "mom and dad;" when we use terms such as "girls and boys;" when we discuss the "boy's basketball team."  Could one argue that these are "sexually explicit?"  Are we truly concerned about these words or are we fixated on not including LGBTQIA and non-binary community identities in school?

The use of "sexually explicit" creates an environment of fear in our classrooms leaving many teachers unclear about what can and can not be discussed in class.  The provocation of fear seems to be deliberate, indirect, and dangerous form of silencing educators.  Our students, families, teachers, and staff deserve to see themselves and others respectfully represented in our schools; especially in our instructional resources.

I strongly oppose SB 656.  I hope you do too.

Rooting for us,

Libya Doman

 

 

 

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