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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1/12/14  4:03 pm
Commenter: Werner Lind

Proposed requirement for parental notification

I've read the porposed rule change, which simply requires parents to be notified of inclusion of controversial material in public school courses, and requires local school districts to have a policy in place for how to handle such notifications and how to provide for opt-out requests, if the need shoould arise.  Nothing in the proposal attempts to prohibit or censor the inclusion of controversial material per se (and as a librarian, I'm very opposed to censorship of ideas and information!).  It's simply meant to ensure that such material is included in an open and honest fashion, with full disclolsure to parents to whom the school systems are legally and morally accountable, and who have the primary legal caregiving responsibilities for their own kids.  (The opposition to that requirement seems to be built on the assumption that any involvement by parents in the educational process should be expected to be harmful, and that the relationship between the school system and the parents should therefore be adversarial.  IMO, that assumption is pernicious on its face.)  And the creation of stated policies for handling situations before they arise is a commonsense administrative practice to which there can certainly be no reasonable objection.  (The fact that a number of Virginia school districts already have such policies in place demonstrates their practicality.)

CommentID: 30063