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  4:14 pm
Commenter: a teacher

Reject this amendment

I strongly oppose this amendment for the reasons so many others have stated.  First of all, it is unnecessary since parents can already have their students opt out of books they find objectionable.  The only request teachers make is that the parents have read the books in question and have a conversation with the teacher about the objections they have.  Surely this is a reasonable request.  Second, it is clearly impossible for teachers to anticipate all possible things that could make a parent object.  I have almost never had a parent question any book I have taught, but the one time I did get a call, it was because of a story that involved a character who had been adopted.  The parent did not want me to talk about adoption in class because her adopted daughter was sensitive.  This brings me to my third point.  As so many others have said so well, our purpose as educators is, among other things, to encourage our students to think.  If we rule out any possibly sensitive issue, we are robbing our students of opporunities to do that and thereby doing them a tremendous disservice.  As a parent myself, I would welcome having my child discuss sensitive issues in an educational situation, with a teacher who has given the issue enough thought to have selected a book that includes it.  Isn't that better that exposing children to what might be objectionable only on television or the internet?

CommentID: 30775