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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1/2/14  12:32 pm
Commenter: Matt Thompson, Virginia Educator

Bad Idea

This proposed amendment is poorly thought out and needs to be flatly rejected. Virtually every topic of possible discussion can be interpreted by someone as being "controversial" in our current society.  It's a very dangerous and slippery slope to start down if we try to eliminate all salient topics of discussion and viewpoints from public education.

It would be simply impossible to determine and identify all content within a curriculum that any one parent or learner within the Commonwealth might interpret as being "controversial" or "sensitive".  What one person may find objectionable, assuredly many others will not.  Whose personal lens of political correctness will be applied in implementing this proposed mandate?  Would mentioning homosexuality, for example, within a family life curriculum be deemed as controversial, sensitive, or even hateful... or, would not mentioning homosexuality be considered intolerant, controversial and offensive?  Would these subjective determinations change with each election based on who the current School Board members are or what party the current Governor is aligned with?  Will there be a master list forthcoming from the State of banned and approved controversial topics, ideas, images, beliefs, words or phrases which we all shall adhere to?  

One has to wonder if the sponsor(s) of this wrong-minded legislation ever read the book 1984, by George Orwell, or if they’ve ever perhaps lived in a non-free society where this type of regulations is already on the books.


CommentID: 29808