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VA Education Dept. Taking Public Comments About Explicit Content In Schools

In addition to concerns about the economy, Covid, inflation, etc., many Virginians have been apprehensive about school-related matters including educational quality, lockdowns, safety, parental rights, and sexually-explicit materials in schools.

Most political observers credit the Republican sweep last November that brought Glenn Youngkin, Winsome Sears, and Jason Miyares into office as having been largely fueled by parents who were activated by issues involving education and parental rights. Specifically, many now see former Gov. Terry McAuliffe’s claim during a debate, “I don’t think parents should be telling schools what they should teach,” as the turning point in the campaign that ultimately sealed the Democrats’ electoral doom.

In view of heightened interest and scrutiny of what is actually being taught in schools and at what ages, the Virginia General Assembly in early 2022 passed Senate Bill (SB) 656 championed by Sen. Siobhan Dunnavant (R-Henrico/Hanover). (Sen. Dunnavant practices medicine as an OB-GYN and is the only medical doctor in the Virginia Senate.)

In accordance with that legislation, the Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) drafted model policies for local school divisions to follow that require each public school to provide parental notification and review of instructional material that includes sexually explicit content and offer alternative instructional materials to any student whose parent objects to those materials.

To that end, The VDOE’s Model Policies Concerning Instructional Materials with Sexually Explicit Content are now up for public comment on the Virginia Regulatory Townhall website. Interested persons can post their comments HERE.

To post comments, sharing one’s name or email address are optional. The website also includes the following instructions: NOTICE: All information in this forum is publicly viewable and is also visible to internet search engines. This means that comments will be displayed as the result of any relevant searches. Please review your comment before submitting it at the bottom of the page. Once entered into the public record, it cannot be edited.

The VDOE is accepting public comments on this issue until August 3, 2022.

-Scott Dreyer

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