The recent letter to the editor titled “Citizens Oppose Book Restrictions” should perhaps have been titled “Citizens Oppose the School Board Doing Its Job”.
At issue are school board decisions on policies to exclude curriculum and library materials containing “sexually explicit content,” as that term is defined in the Virginia Code at § 2.2-2827 ( HAS).
The only classroom or library materials that would be affected by school board policies are those whose content meets this definition:
§ 2.2-2827(A). “Sexually Explicit Material” means (i) any description or (ii) any image, photograph, drawing, motion picture, digital image or similar visual representation depicting sexual bestiality, obscene display of nudity, as nudity is defined in § 18.2-390, sexual arousal, sexual behavior or sadomasochistic abuse, as also defined in § 18.2-390, coprophilia, urophilia or fetishism.”
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Why is the school board only now doing this analysis and adopting these “sexually explicit content” policies? The reason is that the Virginia General Assembly created a new section of the code, §22.1-16.8, which told the school board to begin reviewing these materials and create policies about them. This law entered into force on July 1, 2022.
Creating these new policies on school materials with “sexually explicit content” is part of the job the school board is tasked with doing by the Virginia Code, but an even more comprehensive task is one that may come as a surprise to many locals. of Madison. Eagle readers:
§ 22.1-208 Emphasis on moral education. The entire curriculum in public schools should emphasize moral education through lessons given by teachers and communicated through appropriate reading choices.
The school board cannot responsibly obey the law that requires it to “emphasize morality
education” into its “comprehensive education system” and at the same time allow “sexually explicit content” to remain in its curriculum or library materials.
As parents, grandparents, and citizens of Madison County, we stand behind the school board members for following the law and their conscience and doing the job Madison voters elected them to do.
J. Michael and Nancy Sharman