Agencies | Governor
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 Ends 1/15/2014
Previous Comment     Next Comment     Back to List of Comments
1/13/14  3:49 pm
Commenter: High School Teacher

Again: Slippery Slopes

Two points: 

1) It is hard not to suspect that the rash of comments under  identical subject lines ("I support the Board of Education's amendment to the regulation") are a false attempt at "grassroots" action that really amounts to local presumption and collusion to flood the forum.

2) If passed, the amendment will bring major consequences, however unintended they may be. Teachers already provide information regarding course materials (syllabi), and when it is necessary, students and parents can find a way to work with the teacher/school to opt out of materials that they, as individuals, deem objectionable. In a public educational environment, however, you cannot make the argument that "common sense" will uniformly guide every teacher, student, and parent to the same understanding of what is or is not appropriate. Most of the Greek, Latin, Mediaeval, and Renaissance classics, and just about all of the modern AP reading list, have\ something in it that could be deemed objectionable: violence, sexual content, suggestive language. 

In sum: a state-wide regulation of this type would mire the entire school system in a fog vague policy and give undue influence to "culture warriors" of every stripe (the farthest left, the farthest right, and everyone in between). It is the business of public education to create a space where all are welcome; PLEASE leave discretion about these aspects of curricular design at a local level.

CommentID: 30227