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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12/18/13  12:30 pm
Commenter: Bill Adams

Opens a wide avenue for abuse

The wording, "controversial or sensitive instructional materials" would provide an avenue for members of fundamentalist, particularly Creationist/ID activists, to police the normal implementation of well established scientific studies, namely evolution among others, by manufacturing public controversies over well established sciences that rub up against their own scientifically unfounded religious beliefs. The kind of meddling this proposed language would enable could include and not be limited to the intrusion of religious control over public education in the evolutionary and reproductive sciences. An avenue to manufacture costly legal controversies to tie up our youths education in the courts is the wrong forum to allow that kind of debate to take place. In the long run the proposed language would burden the BOE with endless and costly legal challenges, could impose an unofficial religious authority to which public school teachers would have to apply before implementing their lesson plans and syllabi and is not necessary in the first place because all such instructional materials are already available to concerned parents upon request. Where truly inappropriate materials are concerned there are already the means in place by which they can be addressed. The proposed wording is a bad idea and should be soundly rejected. 

CommentID: 29692