Teachers Across the Country Protest Laws Restricting Lessons on RacismBreaking News
tags: culture war, teaching history, critical race theory
The backlash is sparking a backlash of its own.
On Saturday, thousands of educators and others gathered virtually and in person at historic locations in more than 20 cities to make clear that they would resist efforts in at least 15 Republican-led states to restrict what teachers can say in class about racism, sexism and oppression in America.
Organized by local educators across the country in association with several social justice organizations, the National Day of Action is meant to raise public awareness about the legislation and to send a message that they will not lie to students about the country’s racist past and present.
Several thousand teachers have signed a pledge that says: “We, the undersigned educators, refuse to lie to young people about U.S. history and current events — regardless of the law.”
Ever since the May 2020 slaying of George Floyd by police in Minneapolis sparked a national social justice protest movement, many public schools have attempted to introduce and expand lessons on the systemic racism that has existed since the nation’s founding.
That sparked a backlash among conservatives. Republican-led legislatures are or have already passed legislation (whose wording is remarkably similar or identical, reflecting a coordinated effort) with such restrictions. On Thursday, Florida’s State Board of Education voted to ban the teaching of critical race theory in the state’s public schools.
Critical race theory is a decades-old academic framework that holds that racism is systemic, embedded in government policies and laws that are evident in any serious examination of American history. Critics say that racism is the work of individual bad actors, and, they say, teachers are improperly injecting race in the classroom. Teachers say it is impossible not to discuss race in any honest discussion or lesson about American history.
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