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  10:15 pm
Commenter: Emily VanDerhoff


My Name is Emily VanDerhoff and I am a public school teacher in Fairfax County, Virginia. I wrote my opposition to this bill when it was moving through the General Assembly and I now call on the Board of Education to do everything in your power to lessen the harm it will cause in our schools. The implementation of this law will cause tangible harm to LGBTQIA+ students and staff. Please trust the professional educators and librarians in our public schools to select age-appropriate learning materials for their students. Explicitly add to the model policies that this bill does not inherently prohibit all books and materials by LGBTQIA+ authors or including LGBTQIA+ characters. Affirm that symbols of the queer community and messages of inclusion are welcome and encouraged because they make school a safer place for students. Every student in Virginia deserves to see themselves reflected in the books and materials in our classrooms. Honoring the experiences and identities of queer students is suicide prevention. Please stand on the right side of this issue and protect LGBTQIA+ students.

CommentID: 127058