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  4:47 pm
Commenter: De Fehrenbach, Newport News Public Schools

Reject the proposed amendment

The proposed amendment requires teachers to notify parents of sensitive material, and yet what is sensitive? Sensitive is a relative term and impossible to determine for every individual child in a classroom.  If a class reads a story about a child locked in a closet, must the teacher send out an alert in case a child is claustropohobic?  If a class studies Where the Red Fern Grows, must a teacher send out alerts in case a child is afraid of caves or raccoons?

The amendment also explicitly states supplemental instructional material which conceivably could include the entire school library.  Does this also mean that schools must limit the independent research students can do for fear that they stumble upon sensitive material?

The amendment would be impossible to implement, and more importantly, it is the first step down the road of censorship.

Please reject the proposed amendment. 

CommentID: 29868