The House of Delegates has passed legislation allowing for greater parental oversight of sexually explicit classroom materials.
The vote sends the bill, which already passed the Virginia Senate, to Gov. Youngkin’s desk.
Youngkin included the legislation as part of his “Day One Game Plan Legislative Agenda” in the hopes of bringing Virginians together.
As Virginia Mercury reports:
The language of the bill, sponsored by Sen. Siobhan Dunnavant, R-Henrico, is nearly identical to legislation that passed the General Assembly with bipartisan support in 2016. If signed into law, it would require the Virginia Department of Education to draft model policies on notifying parents of any sexually explicit materials assigned in class.
Parents would also be permitted to review the material and request alternative assignments. Every local school district would be required to adopt a policy consistent or more comprehensive with the statewide model.
Once a bipartisan issue in Virginia, the push to give parents greater control over potentially controversial curriculum has become politically contentious since the gubernatorial race between Youngkin and former Gov. Terry McAuliffe. Youngkin criticized McAuliffe for vetoing the 2016 bill on the campaign trail while pledging to ban other “divisive concepts,” including critical race theory, from public schools.
Dunnavant’s legislation wouldn’t apply to library books, but Democrats have argued the bill amounts to classroom censorship.