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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1/14/14  10:07 am
Commenter: Tim Towslee, teacher and parent, Henrico County Public Schools

As a teacher and a parent, I oppose this action.

As a teacher, a parent, and an advocate for intellectual freedoms I wholeheartedly oppose this action. I carefully select texts for my English classes, most of them AP courses, but from time to time students and parents take issue with some of the essays, articles, and novels that I teach. As a professional, I keep an open line of communication with my students and parents, and I have measures in place to address the needs of those who object to the works I teach in class, including offering alternative texts. My classroom poilcy has been very effective, and nearly every conversation I have had with a parent about a sensitive text has ended positively. Nothing encourages critical analysis and good conversations like controversy provided that these texts are handled professionally in the classroom. The Commonwealth and the DOE should respect the profession and allow teachers to choose which texts we teach. The Commonwealth and the DOE should similarly respect our young people and their right to intellectual freedom. Thank you.

CommentID: 30388