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Important Considerations for Assigned Readings in English Courses

The study of literature spans human history, including its positive and negative uses of language. It is our duty as students of literature to examine writing from throughout history and from different cultures and viewpoints.

Some language that is socially unacceptable today may have been more socially acceptable in the past. Therefore, sometimes we will encounter works with language that offends us or with which we disagree. Reading this in a written work does not indicate your acceptance of such content or language.

Virtual Virginia acknowledges that assigned readings in English courses may contain language and content that reflect historical biases and discrimination. The use of language meant to harm others, either directly or indirectly, is never acceptable, and Virtual Virginia does not support the use of such language. Virtual Virginia is working to address any harmful language that may appear in assigned readings within the English curriculum.

Virtual Virginia understands that encountering some types of content or language may make a student uncomfortable. Every Virtual Virginia course should feel like a safe space for all students. If you (or your parent/guardian) are uncomfortable with the language or content used in an assigned reading, please contact your instructor immediately to discuss this further and to request an alternate work. Your instructor will work with you (and/or your parent/guardian) to choose an appropriate alternate work that will still help you meet the learning objectives in the course.