Youngkin’s Executive Order Addressed


Finn McCool

Books that have been banned by Governor Youngkin.

Governor Youngkin recently issued an executive order calling for parent notification of education involving sexual conduct in Virginia schools. This decision has been made in many states as a nationwide Republican push to allow for parents’ rights in their children’s education. This order comes alongside several potential bills targeting LGBTQ+ and specifically transgender youth, including the infamous Don’t Say Gay Bill in Florida that has been replicated in other states.

The executive order pushes for notification that already exists. Schools are required to send lists of class reading material to parents. The Family Life Education (FLE) curriculum is discussion of sexual reproduction, which parents are notified of and given the option to opt their students out of if they see fit.

The reality is, these precautions protecting parent’s rights to their childrens’ education already exist, and the only difference between what is already written into law and this executive order is the language used and the political context surrounding them.

“From what I understand, it’s essentially banning books… none of us want to teach something that is going to make a kid, or ourselves, uncomfortable,” Mrs. Mary Mathewson, English teacher, said.

In FCPS, all books read in the classroom must be listed on the syllabus. When sensitive content is involved in the books, it is shown on the syllabus. No books that haven’t gone through the book approval process are allowed. The book approval process says that it has to be justified by state standards, and two teachers, two administrators, and two parents have to sign off on its inclusion in the classroom. If a teacher were to go off the syllabus, they would need written permission from the parents of the students involved.

“Our goal is to never to explicitly talk about sex, or language, or violence in inappropriate ways,” Ms. Ashton, English Department Chair, said.