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Bill would require teachers to notify parents of “sexually explicit content”

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RICHMOND, Va -- Some lawmakers are proposing a bill that would require teachers in Virginia to notify parents of any instructional material with sexually explicit content being used in the classroom.

The bill is co-sponsored by House Speaker Bill Howell (R-Stafford).

Published reports indicate the bill was written after a mother in Fairfax County wanted to ban a controversial book "Beloved" after it was read by students over the summer containing explicit passages about rape.

Some parents agree with the proposed legislation.

"I literally live in the school," parent Zahra Lakhani said laughing. "I email my teachers every week."

"Absolutely parents should have all the rights, because isn't that what a school wants for a parent, to be involved?" said Lakhani.

However, some parents worry that what one believes is explicit content could vary from person to person.

A spokesman with the Virginia Department of Education said the department already requires local school boards to have policies to accommodate requests from parents to inspect all instruction materials.

Education expert Dr. Stewart Roberson said while he can't predict the fate of the bill, he said the General Assembly usually recognizes local matters should be resolved with the school staff, administration, and the school board.