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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1/6/14  3:14 pm
Commenter: Maribeth Haines, Accomack County Public Schools

Objectional Material, A Matter of the Law?

This amendment should NOT be passed.  Simply put, the time and energy of school administrators and teachers is best spent serving students. If this amendment passes, an inordinate amount of time will be spent first determining wwhat "may be objectionalble or not" and then in preparing appropriate notifications to parents. I agree wtih Peter Barringer who commented that much of the material covered in an English or History classroom could be considered objectionable by some parent.  Another parent and teacher point out the ambiguity in determining what material may be offensive is huge.  Further, much of the classic and quality literature does in fact contain words, phrases, or sentences that may be deemed offensive; this does not negate the quality of the piece.  Let us teach our children to read critically, think critically, and deal with controversy and persuasion , as  they will need ito do in real lworld contexts.

As a division supervisor, I see the burden and time consumed by tasks that are designed to improve school safety and instruction, but somehow wind up consuming a vast amount of time that detracts from the real purpose of education. The implications are great when you begin to translate this amendment into practice...development of policy, process of notification to parents, alternate resources, lessons, assessments, 

Teachers and school administrators are professionals.  We strive to produce students who are capable learners, thinkers, and decision makers. Let us treat them all as such.

CommentID: 29863