Satirical post by a guest author who writes under the pseudonym, Fitzgerald Chesterfield
Last week, the Virginia General Assembly advanced a measure that would allow parents to nix any sexually explicit content their kids’ teachers plan to use. House Education Chairman Steven Landes (R) and Speaker of the House Bill Howell (R) co-patroned the bill. Educators across the Commonwealth are pondering how they will comply the measure. The following draft was found in the recycling bin of a middle school administrative office:Charles S Robb Middle School7th Grade-Back to School Packet 2016Appendix XXXDear Parent(s),Pursuant to Code of Virginia section 22.1-16.6 and the Board of Education’s resultant policy, this letter is to notify you that your child’s teachers have a reasonable expectation to use instructional materials which contain sexually explicit content. Upon your request, the school will furnish the materials for your review, but please be aware that the materials are sexually explicit in content.You may elect for your child to complete an alternative assignment, if upon your review you find the reasonably-expected-to-be-used materials to be too explicit. In fact, the law does not require you to review the materials; you may infer from their inclusion on our list that they are not appropriate for your child and choose the alternative assignment.The instructional materials listed below are the containers in which the contents are contained.
- The Outsiders, by S. E. Hinton. One character makes sexual advances at another; allusions to teenage pregnancy.
- Prentice Hall Science Explorer: Life Science. Chapters 8 and 9 (Introduction to Plants; Seed Plants) contain repeated references to sexual reproduction in plants, including detailed diagrams of plants’ sexual organs.
- Prentice Hall Science Explorer: Life Science. Chapters 12 and 13 (Fishes, Amphibians, and Reptiles; Birds and Mammals) contain repeated references to sexual reproduction in animals, including “fertilization,” “egg,” and “sperm.”
Out of an abundance of caution, students whose parents exercise their right to alternative assignments under Code of Virginia section 22.1-1.16.6 will be barred from browsing or borrowing books from the school library, unless they are accompanied by a parent. Efforts to screen our collections for sexually explicit material proved too timely to be confidently compliant with the spirit of the law by the beginning of the school year. We thank you for your understanding.
If you wish to exercise any of your rights under Code of Virginia section 22.1-1.16.6, please notify me in writing no later than one (1) week prior to the first day of classes.Let’s have a great ’16-’17. Go tigers!Bob CormierAssistant Principal