Update on House Bill 2191

We at VATE would like to thank Governor McAuliffe for his wise decision to veto HB 2191 (also known as the “Beloved Bill”) on March 23, 2017. The bill, which was strongly opposed by VATE and other organizations, would have required teachers to determine if a classroom text was “sexually explicit” and to notify parents of this label and provide other instructional materials. VATE believes that this could create de facto censorship in our schools and that labeling a whole text based on one scene, phrase, or part instead of looking at overall educational value creates a dangerous precedent. Governor McAuliffe stated in his veto that “The Virginia Board of Education has examined this issue in recent years. In doing so, the Board engaged in lengthy and substantive conversations with school boards, teachers, parents and students. At the conclusion of its inquiry, the Board determined that existing state policy regarding sensitive or controversial instructional material is sufficient and that additional action would be unnecessarily burdensome on the instructional process. Because the Board of Education considered this issue in a broader and more complete context and deemed existing policies to be adequate, I believe House Bill 2191 is unwarranted.” In addition to Governor McAuliffe, VATE would also like to thank all of our members and allies who took the time to appear at meetings, send messages to state legislators, and make phone calls to our governor. When we join together great things can happen!

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