Source: News & Observer
Bills restricting and censoring curriculum in schools, colleges, universities, and libraries have been on the rise in the past two years, with North Carolina Republicans reviving yet another one.
House Bill 187 is the latest legislation on the state level to limit classroom discussions on race, gender, and sexuality.
Since the emergence of anti-education bills, teachers, education advocates, students and parents have pushed back against the harmful measures, with one local teacher calling bills such as HB 187, “an intrusion that aims to distort history.”
“If you look at history, there’s always one group that felt they were superior over another, whether it was to force a group out of their homes or force a group into enslavement,” stated Bruce Blackwell, a history teacher at High Point Central High School in a News & Observer article. “He noted that women in the United States didn’t get the right to vote until 1920 and that it wasn’t until the voting rights law ended barriers to Black people voting that the nation became “a real democracy.”
According to PEN America, 193 education gag order bills – legislative restrictions on the freedom to learn – have been introduced in 41 state legislatures since January 2021.
“The people who are pushing this agenda, I’m wondering where they get it from,” stated Blackwell. “Are they going into a classroom and actually seeing this type of rhetoric being taught to students? I really believe that’s not happening.”
While state Republicans are prioritizing education restrictions, targeting LGBTQ+ youth, and banning books, the state is reeling from an ever-increasing teacher shortage, and inequities plaguing schools due to lack of funding.
“There are more important things to worry about than what they’re assuming about what teachers are communicating to students,” Blackwell said.“They’re not here with us to really see what is going on. They’re not coming into our classroom…Truly, they should visit a classroom and see what’s going on. They might learn something.”
Read more at The News & Observer