Michael Rivera, Candidate for Loudoun County School Board – Leesburg District
This one of several installments in a series of blog posts (www.riveraforschools.com) that can be found on my website to provide some details into my campaign to S.A.V.E. Loudoun County Public Schools. Today I am focusing on Eliminating sexually explicit material from K-12 public school.
Fortunately for many parents the Virginia legislature recently passed S656 which was approved on April 6, 2022. That law reaffirms the rights of parents to determine the exposure of sexually explicit materials being shown to their children and to retain their right to object to such material being used in the K-12 public school system.
I always come back to the same book example about these materials because it seems as though some school officials believe anything goes and all sexually explicit materials can be shown to children in public schools. Many of the books in question by parents were purchased by Loudoun County Public Schools (LCPS) through a diverse book collection and were selected by LCPS staff without the input of parents. When I inquired about the books, I was told the selection committee members were chosen in accordance with policy 5045. Seems like that policy needs to be reviewed and amended to REQUIRE that parents be part of the selection committees to choose reading material in the public schools.
People in Virginia fall on both sides of S656, and that is OK. Some say it’s limiting free speech and banning books. When did it become appropriate to have a “how to” book about anal sex in middle school (entitled “This Book is Gay” by Juno Dawson)? Since that book title was brought to the attention of the school board it has been pulled off the shelves of the Simpson Middle School library to be reviewed. The intended audience for that book is 12, 13, and 14 years old kids. Had parents not looked for the book, no one would have ever known. I will be forever unapologetic in saying that a book with that type of content has ZERO academic merit and does nothing to further the academic readiness of any child. If the intent is to expose children to different lifestyles and sexual preferences of the LGBT community, I say that can be accomplished without details about having gay sex. I feel the same about heterosexual content. I would not want female strippers doing story hour sex shows for children nor would I want copies of Playboy or Penthouse magazines in the schools.
For some reason people are conflating the idea of tolerance and acknowledgement of the LGBT community as a license for a full assault to family values and discretion. This push for sexual material in K-12 flies in the face of parents’ rights to exercise modest religious beliefs and forces them to give all that up when they send their children to public school. I think that parents need
to be knowledgeable of and involved in the selection of school materials that can be categorized as sexually explicit as defined in the Code of Virginia. Senate bill S656 reasserts and codifies those rights so that we can keep public schools focused on academics and keep the school system out of the homes of families by trying to influence the sexual education of minors, a topic that is reserved for parents to teach their children, not strangers in school.
I am on a proactive and vocal campaign to S.A.V.E. Loudoun not just because I want to ensure a high quality and safe education for my children but for all the children in LCPS and especially non-English speaking families and immigrants that may not be aware of what is happening to their children.
Donate now, and Let’s S.A.V.E. Loudoun together!