This guidance document hides destructive intent under vague wording; the current VA Board and Dept of Ed have already signaled that they consider pretty much all references to LGBTQ+ identity to be inherently obscene. This document gives them a road map to erase from our libraries and classrooms even the least explicit of stories, just because a character in the book happens to be gay, or questioning their gender identity. If these characters’ hand-holding is automatically flagged as “sexual conduct,” while a straight/cis couple’s romance is wholesome and natural? The double standard is ridiculous, and actively damaging to our communities.
Furthermore, our schools already have clear procedures by which parents can ask for a title to be reconsidered; we do not need a morally suspect, intellectually stifling procedure like the one outlined here.