Public Comments for: HB1032 - School boards, local; standards for certain public school library materials, parental review.
I am for HB1032 because it is needed to help break poverty cycles caused by destructive behavior choices, which is frequently presented in a lot of today's library materials and normalized by media echo chambers, social media trolls, rent-a-townhall mobs, and faux "community represented" committees. I am also for Parents Right to the education and wellness for their children. In America, kids belong to parents, not the government, and the government is run by we the people, nor vice versa. Our county government leaders, teachers unions, pharmaceuticals industry, and abortion industry and their activists in the schools and libraries are as guilty now as the Tobacco Industry was for causing devastation to many kids and adults for their self-centered profits and agendas. The Tobacco Industry was Guilty in getting many kids and adults sick and devastated because of smoking addictions. Everyone knows that the Tobacco Industry increased the demand for smoking by using constant imagery of smoking cigarettes and cigars, creating a world image that everyone does it, adding addiction to it, and suppressing the knowledge that it leads to cancer and heart failure, among other diseases. It took a reversal of the methods--getting the image of doing it out of pictures and movies and teaching what smoking does to the body--to significantly reduce the bad behavior choice. It is a known fact that marketing through repetition, especially when echoed in the entertaining and "newspaper" world, is a psychological form of influence and acceptance--a way to normalize behaviors, it is behavioral change manipulation. Now substitute cigarettes with sexually explicit materials and substitute the Tobacco with the new gravy train sex industry groups of abortion, pharmaceutical, government-dependence, and enemies. Now you see what's really going on, and shame on the evil profiteers of destroyed lives. Vultures -- all of them. Health and economic statistics clearly show that temporary"benefits" of teenage sexual.activity, premarital sexual.activity, extra-marital sexual activity, or improper sexual activity lead to abortions, diseases, infertility, preterm births, depression, insecurity, single family homes, impoverishment cycles, broken families, unsatisfied married life, broken dreams, increased drug use and crime, and premature death. Social-economic and health statistics cleanly show that to significantly break economic poverty cycles and to significantly improve health statistics, financial status, dream achievements, and longevity, one must follow behavioral choices of the two parent married home and to save sexually activity until then and within that. Therefore, to best help accomplish such successful behavioral choices stop aiming at kids lessons and easy access to imagery of sexually explicit and disease-ridden behaviors and normalizing it in fake echo chambers of acceptance. And to counter those that defend Compressive Sex Education, which teaches EVERYTHING under the sun, as the best method, who with a sane mind would teach 1000 ways with 1000 images to smoke if you don't want them to smoke, or 1000 ways with a 1000 images to use drugs, or drink alcohol, shoot a gun or eat delicious candy if you really don't want them too? Therefore, you don't teach 1000 ways with 1000 images of what sex activity exists, healthy or not, outside of marriage, and especially before legal ages. It not just normalizing but grooming.
To Whom It May Concern, Thank you for the opportunity to comment on HB 1034. As a public high school school teacher and parent of two young children (ages 5 and 2) in Virginia, I have serious concerns that this bill will wind up doing more harm than good for the children of our state. I have worked in two different public school systems in Virginia over 13 years, and I have seen first hand how beneficial counseling services can be to a wide variety of students. If parents are allowed to prohibit their students from accessing counseling services in the school, these students may be cut off from not only critical mental health support, but but also the academic, career, and community support that school counselors and mental health team members provide. All members of a school mental health team must undergo rigorous education before obtaining their licenses, and as such they should be trusted as the professionals they are to provide only services that they deem necessary for students well-being. I strongly urge you to let the trained mental health professionals do their jobs. Don't make students get tied in the mire of adult squibbles. Thank you, Sara Watkins Mother Teacher Concerned Virginia Citizen
To Whom It May Concern, Thank you for the opportunity to comment on HB HB1032. As a public high school school teacher and parent of two young children (ages 5 and 2) in Virginia, I have serious concerns that this bill will wind up doing more harm than good for the children of our state. As VA Senator Peterson said on January 27 of this year, regarding a similar bill, "I don't think we should be involved in micromanaging school libraries...The problem is that you’re going to sweep up books that you don’t intend to sweep up" (Matthew Barakat, abcnews.go.com). I strongly urge you to leave the books in the libraries for the kids. They deserve to have the opportunity to decide with their own parents and personal support systems what books to read. Thank you, Sara Watkins Mother Teacher Concerned Virginia Citizen
I support this bill 1036. Parents/families need the option to decide for their children whether to wear a mask or not. Many children are being harmed emotionally by being required to wear a mask. Also masks negatively impact many childrens’ ability to learn especially for special need kids and those with speech language challenges. Data and science shows masks are not helping protect children and adults. Normally healthy Kids and very young adults are not at a very, very low risk of serious illness.
The U.S. federal government and every state has strict laws against obscenity and child pornography. The intent of these federal laws, state laws, and Supreme Court case law is to protect children from inappropriate content. In Roth v. U.S. (1957) the legislature does not need to show actual harm to ban materials in order to protect “the social interest in order and morality.” The distribution of R-rated books is inconsistent with directives of law. The Supreme Court has stated there is a “duty to inculcate community values in school.” And “[t]he importance of public schools in the preparation of individuals for participation as citizens, and in the preservation of the values on which our society rests, long has been recognized by our decisions.” The Code of Virginia emphasizes moral and character education. There are numerous studies that illustrate that explicit materials psychologically negatively affect teenagers. R-Rated materials betray the stated goals of teachers to their students: to enhance the holistic intellectual being, to shape the moral character and ethical value systems, and to have the objective of student mental health well-being. Studies that illustrate we have a vulnerable teen population. Video games, audio recordings, and movies have ratings. Fairfax County Public Schools requires permission to watch R-rated movies. It is outrageous that we have adults wanting pornographic materials. This is not book banning. There is porn in our schools and it needs to come out.
HB1032: How will this process be kept free from politics or personal biases of the people put on boards to select what books to keep? I don't believe it's possible to do so. A gentle reminder that groups that ban books tend to not be remembered as "the good guys". This would be no different. HB1036: The suggestion of this bill should be enough to get the delegate ejected from our state government. The lack of critical thinking skills required to still not believe we should be mitigating the ongoing pandemic is stunning. HB1068: This is a thinly veiled attempt to stop the teaching of important moments in our nations history that paint one particular set of political beliefs in a bad light. This bill is written in bad faith and should not be passed. HB1126: This is a purposeful attempt to turn the public against the "academics" (teachers) similar to what has been seen in countries as fascism was on the rise. Parents did not go to college for childhood development or education, and being a parent does not inherently make you more qualified to decide what materials children should learn. If parents want that level of control, there are private schools that they can spend the money on to receive it. Otherwise, they should leave it to the professionals. HB113: I honestly can't believe this needs to be said. The separation of church and state originated in this state. This should not need to be explained to government officials. Putting anything on government property relating to any religion should not be considered.
As a parent, I do not want a school board or a group of other parents to determine what is appropriate for my children. School libraries contain books for every student - not books that are the best fit for every students. Parents should be able to have conversations with their children about their own family values; students should be able to put down materials that do not fit their family's beliefs. What is being called explicit or inappropriate is skewing toward books written about or by people who are People of Color or LBGTQ+. This is unfair for many students who want to and need to read books that either reflect their own experiences or allow them to gain empathy through someone's perspective. Many schools are already divided by grade levels (K-5, 6-8, 9-12) and have collections curated by a professional librarian (most of whom have graduate degrees with focused course work on collection development). What is appropriate for a high school student may not be a good choice for a sixth grader - but that is already addressed within the school and the library. Books are already optional. By taking them off the shelf because a group of parents and board members think they may be explicit or dangerous, is taking that option away from students AND their parents. Removing materials should be a private conversation within a family that does not affect others.
I am writing in opposition for all three of these bills - HB1007, HB1009, HB1032. First, these bills are redundant and there is no need for all three of them. School public libraries should be staffed by licensed school librarians with advanced degrees in library science. They are trained to select materials that are age appropriate, and that address their specific school community. Every child has the right to choose from books that represent them as well as give them a perspective of other people's lives and worlds. My daughter, who graduated from Virginia Tech with honors in Engineering, never chose books with blond hair, blue-eyed girls like her. When she brought books home from the school library, it was my responsibility to read and discuss books with her. I believe that her early exposure to diverse books helped her become the successful, productive person she is. The other concern with these bills is that the term "sexually explicit" or "certain public school library materials" are both extremely vague. Who gets to decide what these terms mean in each school district? I believe that if these bills are passed, it is an overreach of the state government into school board business. These bills will also create the need for additional staffing to notify parents and to identify books which meet these vague terms or to censor them and remove them from the library. As we all know, schools are facing an unprecedented staffing shortage, and school staff, including librarians, are being asked to do a lot right now to cover these shortages. There is no extra time to undertake such an enormous task. Also, hiring new staff to review books, would put a financial strain on school districts. We know that no one likes unfunded mandates from the state. I know the focus in this administration is about parent choice in education. As a parent, I have the right to select my children’s exposure to books, movies, games, the internet. However, I do not have the right to do the same for other children. These bills essentially are giving a select group of parents’ choice, while ignoring other parents the right to choose what they think is best for their child and family. These bills are about censorship. Following Texas' book banning is not what Virginia wants or needs.
Public school libraries should not include material that includes sexual content, sex trafficking, parental rebellion, anti police, pro racism, or transgenders. There are many option at the county libraries where you can check out these books. The public school is offering a service to their community and these books serve no purpose in education, therefore, should not be in the public school libraries.
February 2, 2022 Madam Chair and Members of the Committee, thank you for the opportunity to address you today. My name is Judy Deichman and I am the President of the Virginia Association of School Librarians, the Instructional Specialist of Library Services for Richmond Public Schools, the librarian for the RPS Lit Limo which began delivering books to students throughout the city in July of 2020, and the parent of 5 children that all attended and graduated from public schools here in Virginia. I have been a librarian in Virginia for over 13 years. I am here to share a statement from VAASL in opposition of HB1032. Statement on Opposition to Legislative HB1032 February 2, 2022 First, this bill is unnecessarily repetitive because, under existing Virginia Law, school boards are required to have selection policies for materials used and available to public school students (§§ 22.1 238, 22.1-241), as well as a review of materials policy, sometimes called challenge of materials (§ 22.1-253.13:7.C.2). The existing provisions in state law which require “clear procedures for handling challenged controversial materials” already give parents a path to address any concerns with books in school libraries. Second, librarians and public school educators have a long partnership with parents and support the right of every parent to control what their child reads, and the instructional material used in their child’s public education program. Parents are appropriate decision makers when restricting materials for their own child. As educators, we encourage parents to discuss their child’s reading material and school instructional program. We do not approve of other parents restricting appropriate materials for children that are not their own. Third, educators are supportive of providing students with appropriate, accurate information and materials that will meet the instructional needs and interests of the students. Materials in a school setting are selected based on professional expertise. Library materials are selected by a certified librarian, who has received additional professional training in collection development, child development, and pedagogy, using standards outlined by their elected, local school boards. The proposed legislation attempts to sensationalize this process and wrongly calls into question the professionalism and values of the school librarians and administrators who oversee the selection of materials and are dedicated to the best interests of their students. We appreciate the support librarians and school educators are given by our Virginia legislators and hope this statement of opposition to HB1032 will provide guidance when considering the appropriateness of this bill and it’s intended and/or unintended effects on Virginia Public Education and Virginia public educators. Respectfully, Judy Deichman Virginia Association of School Librarians (VAASL)
I oppose HB1032.
Please move to report HB221, 340, 533, 873, 1032, 1100, 1125, 1347. Thank you.
I am writing to urge you to vote no on HB 1032. As a first grade teacher in Fairfax County Public Schools for the past 10 year, I have worked closely with several school librarians. I have seen from them how lengthy the process can already be to acquire a new book and get it into the hands of students because there are already processes built into the acquisition process to ensure high-quality and appropriate materials are selected. This bill would make the process of new material acquisition prohibitively challenging and would have a direct negative impact on the quantity and quality of new material students would have access to. Virginia's school librarians are certified professionals who have extensive training in selecting appropriate materials for the students they serve. It is our charge as public school educators to ensure that we are curating materials in our school libraries and classrooms that represent the diversity of identities and experiences of our student populations and communities. The books and other materials in our schools should serve as mirrors, reflecting students' own experiences back to them, as well as windows to take a peek into the lives and experiences of others to build understanding and empathy for those around us. Watching a small vocal minority of parents and community members stirring up division in Fairfax County School Board meetings around books written by and/or featuring LGBTQIA+ people makes me very concerned about the possibility that this bill will make it easier for these groups to prevent school libraries from stocking these books. LGBTQIA+ youth, and particularly trans youth are at a much higher risk for suicide when their identities are not affirmed by those around them. Having a supportive adult in their lives significantly decreases the likelihood of suicide. In some cases, school librarians are these adults, connecting these students with books that reflect their identity and let them know that they are not alone. Our librarians welcome collaboration with families and are open to discussing the materials available to their child. Allowing our librarians to exercise their professional discretion to curate appropriate materials and also empowering families to have conversations with their school librarians is the way to ensure that students have access to high-quality materials where every child can see themself represented. I ask you to please vote no on this bill.
Speaking to these bills HB 1032, HB 1126, HB 1347 and HB 786 -I would like to thank the Delegates LaRock and Avoli for your courage to stand up for parents who obviously in our Commonwealth have had trouble being heard. These bills address some issues at hand concerning our children’s educational/ instructional materials”. What goes into a mind comes out in a life.” Let’s make sure what we’re offering as education protects the hearts, minds and bodies of all of our children . Please support these bills and let’s get back on track to affirm teachers educating our children and affirm the rights of parents in the public school arena,too.