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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1/12/14  10:53 pm
Commenter: Charles Michael Garverick, Parent, Grandparent

Support of the proposed ammendment to the Education Regulations

Thank you for the opportunity to comment on the proposed changes to the education regulations regarding student reading materials.

In reviewing the teacher comments against these changes I note two themes. One is a challenge as to who is best qualified to determine what is suitable materials for the student. The second is a concern for an additional administrative burden for the teachers and schools to a provide for this proposed oversight and requests change of material based on a parentental review.

I am a product of the Virginia Public school system albeit some 60 years ago. My parents never questioned the authority of the teachers I had or the materials I was given or asked to use for assignments. My three children are all products of the Fairfax County Public Schools in the 1980s. We were involved in the school and reviewed the materials our children used but did not find any objectionable or sensitive issues.

That all changed with our two grandsons who graduated in the early 2000s. I worked with my daughter and son in law to ask for alternative materials for my one grandson who was in the advanced placement English courses due to the incidents, language and issues being discussed. One has to wonder why the literature over the past 60 years has changed so much that we now are in a position of wanting to have a regulation changed to require these reviews and requests for substitute materials. My suspicion is the increase in the promotion of open sexual expressions and the publicity provided in our media of these issues. One of my favorie authors, Steve Berry, has stated that he was not interested in writing sexual episodes in this books after trying one in his second novel. He has remained a best selling author but he has not had to resort to sex to sell his books. He does have historical acts that are true in his books but that is real life.

I ask the board to approve these changes to keep the parents in the loop.

Thank you.

CommentID: 30100