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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1/5/14  3:37 pm
Commenter: Ben Sellers

The option to opt-out already exists

No students are currently required in public schools to read material to which they object. The option to opt-out is readily available. The effect of this regulation, however, is that it will effectively require students to opt-in, and since "sensitive" and "controversial" are left to be broadly interpreted, that means that anything that might challenge any student's beliefs (no matter how outlandish they may be) will require an unreasonable amount of paperwork.

Parents who want to micromanage their students' education have the option to do so by homeschooling. Nobody will take that away. However, for every parent in the classroom to have to approve of what gets taught means that the curriculum will most certainly suffer.

Already, we have become a polarized society of people seeking only to reinforce our own ideas on cable news and blogs and social media echo chambers. We have become a society where every child must get a C or better in class and a trophy at every sports event so that we don't make them feel bad. And when they act out and misbehave, creating a disruption for others, our hands are tied.

The implications for our society are clear. How far are we going to go with this notion of catering to the whim of every student and parent?

CommentID: 29843