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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1/13/14  10:16 am
Commenter: Cathy Marshall

Parents should be made aware of "sexually explicit" or "controversial" material - Support Amendment

While I wholeheartedly agree that teachers have a difficult job in teaching a diverse group of students and choosing appropriate materials, the arguments put forth by many teachers that it would be an undue burden to inform parents of  possibly "controversial" material because parents have different sensibilities of what is considered "controversial" does not serve the best interest of the child, the parent or the school.  Parents these days have a hard enough time trying to protect their children from negative influences in the media and from peer pressure.  It would be a shame if negative influences came in the form of literature or texts from the role model of a teacher and authority of a school system.  Surely teaching materials are used in subsequent years, so once a list of materials was compiled for lesson planning (presumably using a computer) what would be the harm in making the list available to parents?  There is no stipulation that the teachers must point out every specific chapter and verse of possibly objectionable words.  In the interest of "full transparency", a simple list of texts and supplementary materials would allow those parents who do take an interest in their child's education to do further research if they wanted to. If teachers do not want to be "bothered" by concerned parents, then they should be careful to choose materials wisely. Teachers are serving in a "partnership" role with parents in educating students, but parents are the primary educators and therefore their "sensibilities" and "values" should be respected. If many parents object to the material, then the teacher has a responsibility to find other material that would engender cooperation between parent and teacher because a good relationship between parents and schools helps children learn, which is the goal.     

CommentID: 30138