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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1/2/14  10:39 am
Commenter: Allen Swope Radford High School

Unnecessary and cumbersome regulation

As a parent, I understand the concerns of other parents in what their children study at school.  Certainly it is the parent, not the school teacher, who is responsible for instilling values in the child.  For that reason in my role as a teacher, I do not preach and do not use sensitive or objectionable material in my classroom.  Furthermore, everything my students read has been and will remain open to parent comment.  My lesson plans are posted weekly and include the titles of the reading.  My textbook has been approved by the state, approved by our local school board, and made available to public review and comment before adoption.  My textbook and any supplemental reading is open to review by any parent or guardian of my students.  My door is open and my e-mail address distributed.  When my students choose their own reading, my first and primary stipulation is that it not be something their parents would object to.

For those reasons, if this regulation is added, I will continue as I have and will not point to any sexually explicit or sensitive materials in my class because, in my opinion, there are none.  In my opinion, Romeo and Juliet and The Scarlet Letter are not sexually explicit or sensitive.  But what about parents who think those works are inappropriate?  Will I be in violation of state law for not warning them about two adolescents kissing at a party?  Will I be excoriated for not warning them about two adults who have an extramarital affair?

The language of this proposed regulation is far too broad and serves no necessary purpose.  It should not be adopted.

CommentID: 29805