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  6:25 pm
Commenter: Richard Halas, Hopewell Public Schools

Opposed, and here's why...

As a teacher, it's laughable to hear people suggest that reading materials in schools are not regulated and that this ammendment is simply providing some form of regulation. Every syllabus in every classroom is completely transparent and sent home on the first day of schools. Those parents who choose to actually read them before blindly signing them and sending them back are able to see exactly what their students are expected to read. If they are unfamiliar with the proposed works they can easily look up a synopsis on line or at a local library. I've worked in education for over half a decade and never met an English teacher who refused to provide an alternative assignment if a parent took issue with a particular text or its messages. I've enver met an administration who would not support a student's provision of alternative assignments either.

Allowing a state school board to make sweeping bans and sensorship strips power from the local level where certain texts can be especially moving and reaching to students even if someone three-hundred miles away considers them "sensitive." The issue in modern education should be focused far more strongly on IF our students are reading, not WHAT they are reading. Modern teachers are competing with an entire uncensored internet at our student's fingertips, and if a school board decides that some of the few texts that engage particular students are too "sensitive" for them, you may be slamming a door in their face which could have opened them to a passion for reading. Please don't make that mistake.

CommentID: 30271