The public school system in Virginia‘s capital says it may have more than 4,000 lesson plans, emails, and other materials about “sex work,” but if concerned parents want details, they will have to pay $20,000 to find out.
The Richmond district’s potential trove of disturbing materials was revealed when officials responded to a Daily Wire Freedom of Information Act request for all records and materials invoking the terms “sex work” or “sex worker,” including in teaching materials and communications between employees. The issue has raised concerns among parents who say library books and teaching materials increasingly normalize sex work.
“Given the broad scope of your revised request of the email search for the terms ‘sex work’ and ‘sex worker,’ our IT staff projects that upwards of 4,000 records may be retrieved in the search,” the district responded, adding that the “estimated charge that may be incurred by [Richmond Public Schools] to access, duplicate, supply, and/or search for records responsive your request, in the amount of $19,555.40,” half of which was required to begin searching.
District officials said that the hefty price was in part because it included the cost of bureaucrats deciding what information to withhold, despite matching the query.
“Each record, in turn, will have to be reviewed to ensure that exempted information is withheld, if applicable,” officials wrote. “Depending upon the amount of records retrieved, the time associated with reviewing the records may exceed the estimate as we aim to be conservative in our approximations.”
The school system did not return a request for comment from The Daily Wire for this story.
Richmond schools shut down for coronavirus longer than almost anywhere else, and once they returned, shut down for a week again to give teachers a break. In the 2020-21 school year, only 32% of students passed their state math exam, 46% passed their science exam, and 47% passed their English exams.
An advocate conducted a statistical analysis that suggested the schools were “cheating wholesale to boost the graduation rates,” with graduation rates far out of step with what would be expected given test scores.
Schools’ presentation of prostitution to children is of interest after a Loudoun County, Virginia, middle school library featured a book called “Seeing Gender” which promoted prostitution in positive terms.
A chapter titled “‘Sex Work’ Is Not a Bad Term” said “A person may exchange sex or sexual activity for things they need or want, such as food, housing, hormones, drugs, gifts, or other resources,” reads one shocking passage in the book.
Prostitution is “a job like being a store clerk, an architect, or a freelance writer. We all, unfortunately, have to do work to make a living. Some of us hate our jobs and some of us love them–the same goes for those who do sex work. Sadly, sex work is generally misunderstood,” the book states.
A teacher went to the police after she said a school librarian, Stefany Guido, “started talking about how there’s kids who come to the library who do sex work, and this makes them feel validated.”
“I said, ‘what happens if a sixth grader checks it out?’” the teacher told police. “She said ‘I have a conversation with them about it.’” The teacher was concerned because school staff are mandatory reporters who should call police if children are suspected to be sex trafficked.