RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — A bill addressing sexually explicit content in education is heading to the governor’s desk. Some say it would be the first bill of its kind in the country.
It’s a proposal that would require schools to notify parents if a teacher plans on using sexually explicit content in the classroom. It would allow a parent to review the material and request an alternative, should they object.
“This is your child we’re talking about,” said parent Jason Lacy. “You should be able to decide what you’re child is learning and at what point they’re exposed to certain materials.”
Lacy says he has mixed feelings. While he supports more parent involvement, he doesn’t want the bill to prevent teachers from using classic literature.
“I think there is a point in which you could go too far, like OK, this is not as bad as you’re making it out to be,” Lacy said.
Senator Adam Ebbin, a critic of the measure, says the bill would make it hard for any teacher to determine what is and isn’t sexually explicit and could encourage educators to stay away from important teaching materials.
“This bill is the first step I believe to censorship,” he said. “It could become easier for teachers and school administrators just to leave out some of the more provocative books that promote learning and discussion.”
Victoria Cobb with The Family Foundation supports the proposal. She says it does nothing to prevent teachers from using any books they want in the classroom.
“A teacher’s prerogative to set their curriculum is still in place with this bill,” Cobb said. “What we see here is a simple bill about transparency and making parents aware about what’s happening in the curriculum.”
Meanwhile, the governor’s office has not said whether he will support or veto the bill.