BEDFORD COUNTY, Va. – The Bedford County School Board is slated to vote on a policy that outlines how controversial issues should be addressed in the classroom on Thursday.
The policy was presented to the board on April 6 and strives to determine how students should be taught when it comes to political and controversial issues. The main goal is to create a learning environment that is void of bias, prejudice or coercion, a draft document of the policy said.
Under the policy, teachers will be prohibited from having discussions with students about their sexual orientation or gender identity.
Textbooks and other instructional materials that discuss the “historical oppression of a particular group of people based on race, ethnicity, religion, disability status, or sex as well as based on class, nationality, geographic region and/or other differences” will not be prohibited.
The ACLU of Virginia doesn’t support the policy, saying “The policy is so broad as to be unenforceable – for example, the way it prohibits any discussion of sexual orientation or gender identity could be interpreted to mean that a teacher couldn’t answer a student’s question about a photo of their spouse on their desk. That uncertainty will hit LGBTQ+ teachers – and those who support LGBTQ+ students – the hardest.”
The ACLU also sent a letter to the Bedford County School Board expressing their concerns.
A document containing a full breakdown of the policy can be found below: