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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12/20/13  1:32 pm
Commenter: Karen Duffy, Supervisor of Libraries, Stafford County Public Schools

Sensitivity is Subjective

I strongly oppose this policy for a number of reasons, First, individuals' definition of what is considered “controversial” or “sensitive” is subjective. Teachers expose students to a variety of of literature to help them make meaning of the world. By reading a variety of texts, students learn to think for themselves. If they can only read what is considered to be "safe," then students miss opportunties to figure things out on their own. Parents need not fear literature. They are their child's first teacher. Children bring a host of experiences and opportunties to bear when making real-world decisions -- books are just one way to help them do this. When "sensitive" books are shared at school, students have a safety net; a supportive, nurturing enviroment to help them form opinions and make meaning of a host of issues. By forcing teachers to label books in this way, students lose their safety net. They lose their ability to think for themselves. This world needs students who are independent thinkers and problem-solvers.  I strongly oppose this legislation. 

CommentID: 29750