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  3:17 pm
Commenter: Rebecca L. Akers

Reject this amendment

Parents already have the right to reject any reading materials that they deem inappropriate for their children.  Teachers understand that alternative selections are to be used in these instances.  What is acceptable reading material for some families is not for others.  However, we deal with these concerns on a case by case basis, by talking to parents about their concerns and coming to an acceptable resolution.  We do not need a law that mandates our response to parents concerning objectionable materials.  We are professionals who live in a wide range of  communities and one size does not fit all.  I find it very hard to believe that a teacher/school would force a student to read objectionable material after parents have expressed a concern.  We strive to build relationships with our families, not alienate them.  Please allow school divisions to retain the flexibility to work within our own communities concerning this issue.  If not, then the National Geographic picture book about fish located in one of our school libraries may have to be tossed.  It contains the word "sperm."  Recently,  a student's mother objected to her child's checking out the book with the objectionable word in it.  After talking to the mother, we assured her that we would limit access to the book for her child.  Other students whose families have not objected to this nonfiction book about fish are still able to learn about fish habitats and underwater life from the contents of this book.     

CommentID: 29864