Skip to main content
Quick Links

We put students first, seek growth, are open to change, do great work together and value differences.

Website Accessibility

2512 George Mason Drive • P.O. Box 6038 Virginia Beach, Virginia 23456-0038   757.263.1000 • 757.263.1240 TDD

Policies and Regulations

School Board of the City of Virginia Beach
Regulation 6-4.1

INSTRUCTION

Academic Freedom

A.  We Believe

1.  that a diversity of points of view is essential to education in a democracy;

2.  that the "Free Marketplace of Ideas" is the source of raw material from which social and economic progress is created;

3.  that all positions should be heard so that the best may be chosen;

4.  that students should have an opportunity to consider and evaluate differing points of view in the classroom.

B.  We Believe

1.  that literature is a crucial source of knowledge and understanding;

2.  that students have a right to knowledge of their culture (in the broad sense of the term) consistent with their present and future needs to understand, to the full extent of their individual capacities, both its good and bad aspects;

3.  that, therefore, the primary right, in the context of the educational use of literature, is the students' right to read;

4.  that no literary work is in itself proper or improper for the schools;

5.  that its suitability must be judged in terms of its development of the students' intelligence and critical sensibility and the effect on the students of the book taken as a whole;

6.  that the responsibility for making, in any given case, judgement must rest with those best qualified by training and experience to do so, the members of the teaching profession in English;

7.  that this right of the professional teaching staff to select books for classes, to recommend books for individual reading, and to discuss books with students is a secondary right stemming from the professional responsibility normally delegated to it by the board of education; these rights exist because they are necessary to the adequate fulfillment of the staff's professional responsibility to guide students toward the knowledge and understanding befitting free and reasoning persons.

C.  We Believe

1.  that individuals and groups have the right to be selective in their own reading and to express their views about books for the guidance of others, but that they do not have the right to impose their views upon others because doing so would infringe upon the equal rights of others;

2.  that parents and citizens have the right to request and receive an explanation of the reasons for the choice of books in the required curriculum of the public schools or to request and receive a reconsideration of choices ;

3.  that every public school should establish standardized procedures both to protect the students' right to read and, at the same time, to provide a means by which parents and citizens can exercise their rights, including the individual parent's right to request an alternate reading assignment for his child.

Editor's Note
For challenged controversial materials see school board policy 7-12 and any implementing regulation.

 

Approved by School Board:  July 13, 1993