Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes ofwebsite accessibilityLynchburg City School Board votes to keep opt-out policy for sexually explicit content | WSET
Close Alert

Lynchburg City School Board votes to keep opt-out policy for sexually explicit content

FILE- Lynchburg City Schools (Credit: Madison Doner, WSET)
FILE- Lynchburg City Schools (Credit: Madison Doner, WSET)
Facebook Share IconTwitter Share IconEmail Share Icon
Comment bubble

The Lynchburg City School Board voted on how to move forward with its sexually explicit content policy.

The Board voted Tuesday night to keep the opt-out policy instead of changing it to an opt-in policy; which some on Lynchburg City Council were pushing for.

If the school board would have voted to go opt-in, the policy would require teachers to constantly track down parents and ask them if it was okay for their children to be a part of whatever lesson might contain sexually explicit content.

During the meeting, the ten people spoke during the public comment section about how the school system should handle the policy.

SEE ALSO: Bedford County school board member arrested for assault and battery

Andrew Glover, a concerned Lynchburg parent, said he didn't want students at Dunbar Middle School to attend a play because he says the content is not for children.

Glover said the script was sent home to parents; which he says proves why LCS should have an opt-in sexually explicit content policy.

"This opt-in process for school field trips not only brought transparency to this issue but also it affirms parents do have a fundamental right to make explicit decisions for their students", Glover said. "Having an opt-in policy adds a layer of protection around the students and the school by ensuring parents and caregivers are paying attention and ensuring their kids stay safe."

Of the ten people speaking during public comment, nine others spoke out against changing the policy to opt-in and asked the board to keep it as an opt-out policy.

SEE ALSO: AG Miyares sends letter to Yelp opposing 'discrimination' of crisis pregnancy centers

Aaron Reid, chair of the English Department at E.C. Glass High School, said teachers are already working to ensure sexually explicit content is properly handled in the classroom.

"When teachers are interested in adopting a new novel for a class, the first thing we do is go to other educators", Reid said. "We also go to parents, we go to our administrators and we go to our students. We ask them to read it; whatever the book is, and ask them to sign off on it or to come to us with questions that they have."

The 25-year veteran teacher said that parents already know the content that is being taught because it is found in their child's syllabus.

"When a parent comes to me with a concern, where do you think they got that book from", Reid asked. "They got that book from our syllabus, and you know when they got it, day one. I actually went further this year and used technology and had parents contact me after they had read the syllabus that had all the titles of my books on it to verify that they had read it and everything was good or to contact me if they had a question about a title."

SEE ALSO: How you can help earthquake victims in Turkey and Syria from Central Virginia

Reid said that he had some parents call him, email him and text him, but he said he also had parents come to meet with him personally to discuss the books on the syllabus.

"I want to dissuade the notion that parents don't know about the books their kids are reading until March because they get in the syllabus", Reid said. "But let's say a parent does have a concern. It's October and they reach out to me about the book. First, we make sure the parent has read that book so we can talk about it honestly, and if the parent has and we address those concerns, we give that child an alternate book."

After public comment, school board member Doctor Martin Day introduced a motion to change the policy from opt-out to opt-in.

The board voted and the motion failed with a final vote of 3 to 6.

Comment bubble

Dr. Day, Dr. Atul Gupta, and Randy Trost all voted to change the policy from opt-out to opt-in.

Loading ...