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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1/14/14  12:54 pm
Commenter: Barbara Heath, Public Schools

Wording is too vague and some controversy is necessary to teach critical thinking skills.

I understand parents' concerns about their children being exposed to sexually explicit material and suggest that they take an active role in helping to choose the textbooks used in their children's schools.  It is my experience that most teachers do not want to be put in the position of teaching topics that are uncomfortable for them to discuss with their students.  When in doubt, I think the teacher should definitely let the parents know and use their best judgement in choosing materials or books for their classes.  However, as students get older, it is important for them to be able to choose books that they want to read.  These may relate to topics and situations that are of interest to them and relevant to their lives. When it comes to "sensitive" topics, whose to say what is "sensitive"?  That is a personal opinion.  Learning to consider and discuss different points of views are one of the skills that is necessary for our students to learn.  If we always teach the safe subjects, how will our students learn to think for themselves. 

CommentID: 30432