WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, several local TV stations refused to air Independent Women’s Voice’s (IWV) “Worth 1,000 Words” ad, depicting sexually explicit materials available in VA public schools. Federal communications law prohibits televisions from showing adults such materials, even when the same materials have been available to kids in Virginia public schools. IWV accordingly created a modified version of its 30-second ad, which shows a blurred version of what kids see, to conform with that law. But today, WRC, WUSA, WJLA, and WWBT again refused to air the ad, claiming it still is ostensibly not suitable for late night adult viewing. 

Both the first uncensored ad and the second with censored images may be viewed at ToxicSchools.org. Parents can also take action at the website and make their voices heard.

Federal law prohibits TV stations from airing obscene, indecent or profane content, marketers must follow text message industry S.H.A.F.T regulations, and social media companies have similar rules in place that make it impossible to actually show the public the explicit content. 

Yet, when it comes to Virginia public school students, these protections are thrown out the window. 

In 2016, then-Governor McAuliffe vetoed a bill that would have allowed parents to block sexually explicit books in school, and in 2021 he stated that he didn’t think parents should have a say about what is imposed on their children.

This is despite the specific protections Virginia law gives the rights of parents.

Parents have a right to know what their kids are being taught and exposed to and a right to tell schools what they want their children to be learning. 

Carrie Lukas, vice president of Independent Women’s Voice and a parent of 5 Virginia public school students, said, “Even when we blurred the images that are in Virginia schools in order to comply with federal broadcasting laws, major media in Virginia still refuse to let us inform adults in Virginia. Apparently they don’t want an informed citizenry, and they don’t want parents to know about inappropriate books in Virginia schools. All we want is to make sure that parents and citizens know what is happening in the schools they are paying for and trusting with their children.” 

Both versions of the ad are available at www.ToxicSchools.org, and parents can go there to make their voices heard, even if the media in Virginia want them to be silent. 



Independent Women’s Voice fights for women by expanding support for policy solutions that aren’t just well intended, but actually enhance freedom, opportunities, and well-being.