Loudoun Co. votes to alert parents to sexually explicit material in schools

Loudoun County Public Schools adopted a policy on Tuesday that will keep parents in the loop when it comes to sexually explicit material being taught in classrooms. Loudoun became the first school system in Northern Virginia to do so.

The policy calls for parents to be notified 30 days before such material is presented or assigned by a teacher, giving parents the ability to opt out of the material if they want.

It passed on a vote of 7-2 during a meeting held by the Loudoun County School Board.

The policy relates to classroom instructional material only, and not to books that students can access independently in school libraries.

Under a new Virginia law, all school systems across the state are supposed to pass similar policies that alert parents to sexually explicit material, although it is unclear how many of the school systems are on the verge of actually doing so.

Gov. Glenn Youngkin signed the law in April, holding it up as part of an effort to fulfill a campaign pledge to empower parents’ involvement in their children’s education.

Each school board must adopt a policy by Jan. 1, 2023, according to the law.

Democratic state lawmakers who objected argued that it constituted censorship and that valuable pieces of literature would be targeted.

Supporters emphasized that no books were being banned or censored and that the law simply allows parents to be notified of explicit material.

The measure cleared the Senate, which is controlled by Democrats, Senate after two moderate Democrats joined with Republicans to advance it.

It passed the GOP-controlled House on a party-line vote.

Under Virginia law, sexually explicit content is defined as “any description of or any picture, photograph, drawing, motion picture film, digital image or similar visual representation depicting sexual bestiality, a lewd exhibition of nudity, sexual excitement, sexual conduct or sadomasochistic abuse.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Nick Iannelli

Nick Iannelli can be heard covering developing and breaking news stories on WTOP.

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