Virginia Regulatory Town Hall
Department of Education
State Board of Education
Regulations Governing Local School Boards and School Divisions [8 VAC 20 ‑ 720]
Action Amendments Regarding Use of Controversial or Sensitive Instructional Materials
Comment Period Ended on 1/15/2014
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12/16/13  2:45 pm
Commenter: Sara Voigt, SCPS


The passing of amendment 8VAC20-720 would be detrimental to teachers and students.   The very foundation of literature rests in the interesting conflicts that revolve around timeless characters that class after class of students read and fall in love with.  Often time these conflicts could be deemed as offensive, depending on one's definition of offensive.

What is to say what is "offensive"?  What is offensive to one, is not offensive to another.   Parents already have the right to request that a child not read a particular piece of literature.  Accommodations are made by the teacher for these requests.  So, I do not understand how this practice does not address the issue being addressed in 8VAC20-720.  If a parent does not want his/her child to read a literary work, then they have that right.  However, to take the opportunity from another student to be exposed to literature just because one parent deems it "offensive" is ludicrous. 

The term "offensive" is subjective, therefore making it impossible for a teacher to list everything that may be offensive to a parent or guardian.  Please do not pass 8VAC20-720.  There is no good that could come from this.

CommentID: 29628