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  11:36 am
Commenter: Kelly McCoig-Smith, Newport News Public Schools

Reject the amendment

If we allow such an amendment to pass, where does that leave teachers?  What literature will be left to teach?  How will students' worlds be expanded to allow understanding, analysis, and insight into topics, issues, and cultures that are very real in society?  I agree that parental involvement is key in education and that parents should stay abreast of what's happening in the lives and schooling of their children.  In this case, I think that there needs to be professional trust given to the teachers who have gone to school to passionately study, analyze, and breathe life into these texts, many of which are deemed classics and have spanned generations.  Trying to regulate literature that teachers select is stifling, undermining, and really isn't fair to the students out there who have yet to experience the friendship between George and Lennie, Reverend Dimmesdale's tortured soul,   Elie Wiesel's fight for survival in concentration camps, the forbidden love story of Romeo and Juliet, or how Scout and Jem's world and understanding grew because of their father's courageous decision. 

Reject this amendment.  Our teachers deserve professional respect to choose their own titles and our students deserve to experience those choices. 

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