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  1:25 pm
Commenter: Drew Weko, AP English at 11 Tallwood High School

The addition of this proposal would be detrimental to the learning process.

Throughout our education system, we learn about a plethora of topics throughout history, literature, and further studies that could be regarded as "controversial materials." This proposal calls for an amendment to forbid the use and teaching of these materials without prior notice to the parents or guardians, and them signing off on them for their student to learn about them. By ratifying this, it would be detrimental to the learning process, and potentially a waste of time to have our school system focusing on this.

As we know, history simply is not the cleanest course of study. We are aware of atrocities that happened in history, like slavery around the world, the Holocaust, and genocides that have occured within the past decades. With the ratification of this proposal, this would require all history teachers to weave their way through new guidelines in teaching history, and would have to find a baseline to test all of their students, including the ones who have opted out.  History is greatly affected by this becuase this also affects current events that may be controversial.

Another key subject is English. As you study different authors from different time periods, you encounter things that may have been common in their time period, and now are considered to be taboo. Along with that, though some literature may have curse words in them, the authors are simply fantastic and their work holds great educational value, which would be stripped by this amendment.

Do not pass this amendment, for it is only going to slow teachers down and make their job far more difficult. It would cause a revision of the entire education system an what could be taught, and the school system has much greater issues to worry about. With our world as it is today, this is the least of our worries.

CommentID: 30442