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  1:31 pm
Commenter: Colin A Farrell, FCPS

Too ambiguous, slippery slope

To define what is offensive and what is not is opening a massive can of worms.  What is offensive to one student or parent, may not be offensive another.  This results in extensive/arbitrary/ridiculous regulation and oversight adding to the mountain of administrative duties teachers already face (I am one, and it's out of control).  To add more responsiblities to the teachers' plates on further takes us away from what truly matters.

In effect, teachers would have to accommodate possibly every student to make sure no ONE is offended by anyting to be read or viewed in the classroom.  This is simply impossible and illogical. I have close to 150 students in my 5 classes, I cannot possibly write 150 different lesson plans.  And, heaven forbid, they miss out on content to be assessed on the SOL.

In addition, in what world do we get to walk through with protections from being offended?  As college students and as adults, there is little protect people on a day-to-day basis from being "personally offended" by advertisement, television, movies, music, magazines, all forms media and/or each other.  If we shield students from as much potentially offensive content in high school and middle school, they will have no ability to cope with being offended in the future. Being offended is a natural part of the human condition, it cannot be avoided, therefore it must be learned to be dealt with appropriately, not run from.

This legislation is ill-conceived, ambiguous, and starts the DOE on a slippery slope, and at the end of the day, only a select few parents will be happy (generally the parents who are eternally on the war path about one thing or another); and there will be a select group of people who must bear the burden: teachers.  But I mean, really... we are overpaid and underworked... by all means, heap on the arbitrary, useless, and unnecessary admin work. 

CommentID: 29693