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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12/21/13  12:54 am
Commenter: Laura LaMan, Student

Reality and Adulthood

As a college sophomore, I must attest that censoring a student's education is the only surefire way to ensure their failure. Between high school and graduation, young people are supposed to make this spiritual and mental jump from virginal children into complex and independent individuals. As an English Major in college, I read texts related to rape, incest, pedophiles, and homophobia in a single semester, mere months after graduation. High school's sheltering of minds does nothing but perpetuate ignorance of society's problems, rather than tackling them straight-on. In twelfth grade, I was lucky enough to read Toni Morrison's The Bluest Eye for AP and to this day, it's been one of the most thought-provoking and haunting pieces of literature I've ever read because it dealt with reality. The title's working theme of the beauty ideal and white-washing of media became harshly apparent to me. Sadly, I'm aware that child abuse is rampant and I've met several victims after graduation. Did any of this make me a worse person? No. I've only become wiser, stronger, and more determined. Without this book, I would have been absolutely blind, and this is just one of many.

In conclusion, I believe as a student that these materials should not be restricted, as silencing ideas because they're offensive is quite like a child not eating vegetables because they taste bitter. For extreme cases, substitute material should be available but I also believe a child's parent has a responsibility to the person they want their child to become not to shelter them from life. Trust your children and guide them through these texts. Trust your teachers to make the right decisions. Don't follow paper. Follow people.

CommentID: 29762