This spring members of VATE (Virginia Association of Teachers of English), VCEE (Virginia Conference on English Education), and a number of Virginia teachers joined with NCTE to protest HB 516, a bill which would require teachers to notify parents regarding the use of any classroom materials which might contain “sexually explicit” content. This material included required novels, textbooks, and any possible outside reading from the school library or other sources. While the members of the General Assembly passed this bill, Governor Terry McAuliffe vetoed it, and you can read about these events at: “Losing—And Then Winning: The Story of Virginia’s HB 516.” June 15, 2016. http://blogs.ncte.organd The “Beloved” Bill: the Contoversy of HB516.
As of this writing, however, there is a current move to add much of same language to 2017 Virginia school regulations. The location and wording of this language is as of this writing a moving target; it was initially inserted into the draft Virginia Standards of Accreditation (published in September 2016), then substantially revised in a subsequent version of draft Standards (October 2016). Currently it appears that some sort of regulatory language regarding “sexually explicit” will now be inserted in the Regulations Governing Local School Boards and School Divisions.
If you would like to share your thoughts, the Virginia BOE is accepting public comments at EnglishSOL_2016@doe.virginia.gov.