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
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1/13/14  10:24 pm
Commenter: Kimberly Marye, Licensed to teach secondary English in VA

Please reject this amendment

Please reject this amendment that proposes to replace of the teacher-parent-student-administrator relationship.

Teachers desire parental involvement in children's education, to have concepts discussed and supported and/or challenged . . . at the dinner table or in the car commute.  Teachers desire that parents know what his/her child is studying.  A one-time, blanket decree from the state that simply halts discussion does cannot replace the value of regular and dynamic involvement.  If parents develop relationships with their children and their children's teachers, if teachers seek to do the same, and if administrators openly promote and support such relationships, then parents will know what is contained in the classroom syllabi and curriculum overall.  The parent(s) will be an active part of the conversation and the education of their children.  The parent will understand why a teacher makes the choice to teach any particular text or concept.  A parent will know whether or not the texts chosen contain content that the parent finds questionable or not and can bring concerns to the teacher, choosing to read the book themselves, to engage in the on-going discussion, or to opt that their child complete and alternate assignment.  These are all viable options that have already been working for years for teachers, parents, and their students.   Statements such as, “Parents have a right to know,” suggest that teachers are operating in secret and are trying to snow the parents.  These statements echo of parental fear and insecurity.  Simply getting involved by talking with child and teacher could ease the need for more dictates and red tape for all parties. 

Some folks have suggested that to pass this amendment demonstrates distrust for the educators working with our children.  True.  Also true is that a passing of this amendment demonstrates distrust in parents' ability to be critical observers and thinkers and to be active participants in their children’s education.  Let us be thinking, discerning beings who value relationships, trusting that all things are up for discussion.

CommentID: 30316