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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1/7/14  1:29 pm
Commenter: Amy Hall, Frederick County Public Schools

Sensitive Materials/Supervisor of English, Reading, and Performing Arts

Sensitive Materials

When individuals move into the beautiful state of Virginia, it is easy to see and to learn that each region and district is unique to itself. Depending upon the route traveled you may see signs for roads that are merely dirt and stone, warnings for buggies and horses, and detour arrows for congestion around road construction. As unique as the infrastructure may be, so are the localities in which citizens live and work. What is deemed to be appropriate for one school division may not be for another. Hence, each school system should have the ability to decide for itself what is appropriate for the children in their community.

Within the Frederick County Public School division, student needs are considered and valued. Text books are adopted after a thorough review of comments from educators, parents, students, and community members. Supplemental materials are screened by each school to determine the value of the material and how the material may be used appropriately. Since we consider the culture of our students, parents, and communities, we feel that the system that we have in place to review, to purchase, and to monitor resources and materials used by our students to be a fair, accurate and sensitive to our community.

When an issue does arise, school administrators address the concern with the parent or community member. Each outcome is different based on the educational value of the material, the appropriate nature of the resource, and manner in which the item will be used. Consequently, the system of checks and balances is working. To amend the wording regarding the Use of Controversial or Sensitive Instructional Materials will strip local school boards from having the ability to decide what is and is not appropriate for the community in which they live and work.

CommentID: 29884