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
12/20/13  1:21 pm
Commenter: Amy Scott, Pitttsylvania County Schools, English Teacher

"Sensitive Material" is the only kind that matters

What materials should we then use to replace the ones already approved for study?  What type of literature could be considered "not sensitive." For if it were deemed so, who would then consider it a great piece of literature and why would would anyone bother with analyzing its contents?  Even the Bible itself has "sensitive" issues such as prostitution, genocide, adultery, murder, and greed.  I assume that these same people would certainly not pull the Bible from the grasp of their children.  Let's face it folks, students hear more "sensitive" material simply walking from class to class than they could ever get from a great piece of literature.  And let's also point out that the more "sensitive" in nature a piece of writing is, the more likely that a 15 year old teenager would become engaged with its content, the underlying themes, and the lessons therein; lessons about dying, about the fragility of human relationships, the cultures of other peoples, the great mistakes of world history, the atrocities of wars, the beauty of learning, the meaning of life, and the awareness of other perspectives.  Is it really necessary to continue to rip away the foundation of learning simply because a few people disagree with a particular word or phrase?  I would challenge these individuals to go farther than this, to read that piece of literature from to cover to so that they may see for themselves why the author chose to use that word or phrase and what it actually means in the content of the entire piece.  I would also challenge these folks to then present a list of works that we could read in class.  Where would they get them?  Where would they come from? Would they be worth studying if they contained not one "sensitive" issue?  That's what literature is!  It's sensitive.

CommentID: 29749