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  2:09 pm
Commenter: John Green, Citizen of Commonwealth of Virginia

Parental right to have student opt out.

Our schools are opting to show/use materials that many would consider inappropriate for the age/development of students. Fauquier County Public Schools have been showing movie "The Outsiders" for many years. It is rated PG13 but is being shown to middle school students and parential consent slips are required. The movie is violent, it degrades women, contains smoking, drinking, bad language, fighting and disrespect for the law. I've asked what positive values could a student derive from this movie. Teachers and the local School Board told me family values. I was stunned by their answer and asked for an explaination. They said family values are represented by an older brother who brings up his younger brother, who is in trouble with the law, because the parents are no where to be seen. The movie is inappropriate for middle school students. This movie has been used for some time in Fauquier and I believe the reason they still use it is lazyness - teachers know it forward and backward and don't want to spend time preparing a new more appropriate movie. Now teachers want to use such material without having to get consent slips. The answer is to not use inappropriate materials in the first place. We have lots of bad behavior already, why not use age appropriate materials with positive lessons. We might be surprised by the results.

CommentID: 29812