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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1/15/14  9:34 am
Commenter: Mari Hommel SPED Teacher (Highly Qualified-English and Reading, K-12) LCPS

School Boards Have Authority to Set Policy, Procedures

Given the subjectivity of this propsed language (i.e., "sensitive"), it is my feeling that the provisions of the Code of Virginia that enable a local school board to establish policies and procedures for these matters should be relied upon to serve our students.  Not only am I a teacher, but I am the parent of two young adults who graduated from public schools in Virginia.  Therefore, I am now and have been a stakeholder in this issue. I am also a former school board attorney.  These matters are much better left to decisions at the local level, where the local elected officials are familiar with community standards and the manner and methods by which a teacher is (a) directed to deliver instruction and (b) play a role in the selection of books appropriate for the students' diverse needs.  Teachers deserve such guidance and direction from the school boards that employ them to teach -- to place a teacher at risk of making this decision (what is sensitive?) would be ill-considered and unfair, not to mention counter-productive for the students.   

CommentID: 30607