By Brittany Bernstein, featuring Victoria Coley, vice president of communications at Independent Women’s Voice and Carrie Lukas, vice president of Independent Women’s Voice
Local Virginia TV stations including ABC, CBS and NBC have refused to air an ad depicting sexually explicit materials that are widely available to students in school libraries in the state, citing federal law which prohibits airing pornographic images.
“It’s shocking that images, and even some words, that federal law prohibits TV stations to share with adults are the same images being shared with Virginia students with no accountability,” said Victoria Coley, vice president of communications at Independent Women’s Voice (IWV), which created the ad.
The 30-second ad, titled “Worth 1,000 Words,” includes a full screen spread from Gender Queer by Maia Kobae, a book that was available in schools in several Virginia districts, including Fairfax, Loudon and Arlington, according to IWV.
IWV attempted to air the ad after 11 p.m. to show adults the shockingly explicit materials that students have access to in schools, but was told that federal law prohibits sharing pornographic images on air, even if they are aired late at night and for news purposes.
“Independent Women’s Voice has been told to stand down—that we are trying to push out inappropriate materials that violate federal regulations—when we are simply highlighting wildly inappropriate books in Virginia schools,” said IWV vice president Carrie Lukas. “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.”
IWV has since submitted a second ad with the sexually explicit material blurred out.
Last month, during a debate with his Republican opponent, Glenn Youngkin, McAuliffe argued that parents should not tell schools what to teach.
The comment came in response to Youngkin’s remark that parents should be more involved in the decisions of local school districts during the second and final debate of the race.
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