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2017 SESSION

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(HB2191)

GOVERNOR'S VETO

 

    Pursuant to Article V, Section 6, of the Constitution of Virginia, I veto House Bill 2191. This bill would require schools to notify parents if their child is enrolled in a course in which the instructional materials or related academic activities include sexually explicit content or the potential for sexually explicit content. The legislation would also require teachers to provide alternative instructional materials if requested by a parent.

 

    The Virginia Administrative Code specifies that "Local school boards shall be responsible for the selection and utilization of instructional materials." The same section of the Administrative Code requires each local school board to have policies in place enabling parents to inspect all instructional materials and to challenge the inclusion of materials that might be considered "sensitive or controversial," for any reason.

 

    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.

 

    Accordingly, I veto this bill.