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  10:05 pm
Commenter: Charlottesville City Schools

parent and educator - common sense and semantics

“Whatever the cost of our libraries, the price is cheap compared to that of an ignorant nation.”  - Walter Cronkite

The difficulty with the proposed action lies within the word choice. Who determines what is sensitive and controversial?  As described in the current version of the proposed action, almost all literature fits this description. Would literature associated with the Holocaust or the Civil Rights Movement be deemed too objectionable? Does "sexually explicit" include Life Science and Biology text books as well? It most certainly must refer to the materials used to teach the Family Life courses.

Parents SHOULD know what their children are reading in school. I applaud their interest!  Currently, parents can and do CHOOSE to have their students "opt out" or request alternate assignments when and/if they are uncomfortable with a literature choice. Choice is the operative word. In this age of impersonal communication via emails, texts, and tweets, a simple face to face conversation between the parents and teacher can go a long way toward building understanding and trust.

CommentID: 30540