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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12/16/13  10:25 am
Commenter: Melinda Humphreys, Thomas Dale High School

Use of Controversial or Sensitive Instructional Materials

As a parent, I can certainly understand concerns about content. However, as a high school educator, I cannot possibly label every passage another parent might find objectionable or offensive. The lines are too ambiguous; what one person finds objectionable, another doesn't even notice. Additionally, this would effectively remove many texts that have been studied for years, including, but not limited to: Oedipus Rex, most of Shakespeare, Inferno, and The Color Purple. Many non-fiction texts that deal with controversial issues and those currently in the news are studied in order to prepare for the numerous state and national tests, specifically preparing for the persuasive writing portion of those tests. Students must practice with controversial topics, and persuasive writing in order to achieve success both on required tests and in life beyond high school. 

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