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
Previous Comment     Next Comment     Back to List of Comments
1/14/14  3:40 pm
Commenter: Gail Giewont, public school teacher

Reject the Amendment

Having worked in education for the past decade, I have never seen a situation in which a teacher did not give all students and parents prior notification of books that would be used within the classroom--nor have I ever had a colleague who would not offer an alternative assignment if a child or parent had a legitimate objection. This amendment seems to be attempting to exert control in an area that is not in need of correction.

Teachers are not in the business of attempting to corrupt children. We are trying to help them think critically and learn skills necessary in the world.

The definition of what is controversial or offensive is inherently subjective; almost any piece of literature could be perceived as being controversial by someone. Parents and students should have the right to determine, on a case by case basis, what is appropriate for themselves. Educators should support that.

However, having a legislative body dictate what would be offensive to everyone necessarily would limit students' ability to read complex literature and learn about the world. 

CommentID: 30485