I am the parent of four students in Fairfax County Public Schools. I strongly oppose SB656 Draft “Model Policies Concerning Instructional Materials with Sexually Explicit Content.” It is clear to me that these policies are intended to mirror the “Don’t Say Gay” policies in the state of Florida. The policies as written are vague and broad, and while the policies state they are “not to be construed as requiring or providing for the censoring of books in public elementary and secondary schools,” that will be their effect. These policies will serve to “other” books that someone finds objectionable, and children will learn that some books are somehow “appropriate” and others aren’t. I believe that teachers and librarians will avoid assigning books that might be subject to parental objection, just because it's easier to do so, thus depriving my children of the choice of reading them. These policies are discriminatory against the LGBTQ community and will be abused by bigots. I want my children to have access to the widest possible range of reading material so that they can understand the world around them, explore, ask questions, and learn to understand and empathize with others. Diversity is a strength. Information is power. I trust Virginia's trained educators and librarians. We need to let them do their jobs without interference.