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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12/18/13  9:57 am
Commenter: Beth Houlihan, English Teacher in Prince George County

Reject this ridiculous idea

The idea of forcing teachers to cite every single page where there may be a piece of uncomfortable information, topic or issue in a book is ridiculous. If this passes you are basically stating that we cannot teach anything of real relivance in our classrooms. Students and people need to be able to talk about the difficult issues and problems in the world. At least in a classroom that dicussion can be guided. If a parent has an issue with the reading materials being given in the classroom then simply ask for an alternative reading assignment. Most schools have a back up for this purpose. My school sends out a letter at the beginning of each year stating what reading selections outside of their textbook will be used. The letter for the parents/guardians is to be signed and returned so that they are aware of the selections and that an alternate may be availble for specific cases. However, this does not control what reading selections appear on standardized tests and parents cannot blame the system for those selctions.  Having each school send out a letter like this one is reasonable what this admendment is suggesting is not. If you are a parent who is that concerned with what your child is reading then homeschool them so that you can control it, however you will be doing more damage than good if you expect your child to go to college and he/she has not been exposed to controversial issus and topics.

CommentID: 29687