Thousands of Teachers Protest Laws that Dictate What They Can Teach About Race in Class

·2 min read
TOPSHOT - Children listen to their teacher as they sit in a classroom on the first day of the start of the school year, at the Chaptal elementary school in Paris, on September 2, 2019. - In France some 12.4 million students crossed the doors of elementary schools (6.7 million), secondary school (3.4 million) and high schools (2.3 million) on September 2, 2019. (Photo by Martin BUREAU / AFP) (Photo credit should read MARTIN BUREAU/AFP via Getty Images)
TOPSHOT - Children listen to their teacher as they sit in a classroom on the first day of the start of the school year, at the Chaptal elementary school in Paris, on September 2, 2019. - In France some 12.4 million students crossed the doors of elementary schools (6.7 million), secondary school (3.4 million) and high schools (2.3 million) on September 2, 2019. (Photo by Martin BUREAU / AFP) (Photo credit should read MARTIN BUREAU/AFP via Getty Images)

Teachers in more than 20 cities gathered to let G.O.P. lawmakers know that they ain’t down with attempts to dictate they can and can’t teach in class.

According to The Washington Post, Saturday was the National Day of Action. The event aimed to raise awareness of Republican legislation that would restrict teachers from discussing certain topics in regards to racism, sexism and oppression with students. Republican lawmakers in states like Florida and Iowa have worked tirelessly to enact laws that would prevent public schools from adopting lesson plans on critical race theory and other frameworks that openly and honestly examine how racism is systemically embedded in U.S. History.

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The Post said that several thousand teachers who participated in the National Day of Action have signed this pledge:

“We, the undersigned educators, refuse to lie to young people about U.S. history and current events — regardless of the law.”

Republicans have been going all in about critical race theory recently, and they don’t seem to be ready to stop anytime soon. As The Root has written about before, the main, simplified conceit behind CRT that it’s a way to use race as a “lens through which one can critical examine social structures.”

But if you listen solely to the Right, it’s “false history,” or it’s “left-wing nonsense,” or it’s “Marxist,” which I take as a sign that some of y’all don’t actually know what that means, but like to say it because it sounds bad to you.

As the Post reported, teachers have said that it’s impossible to talk about American history honestly without discussing race. Even if teachers aren’t necessarily discussing critical race theory itself, they still find it important to address “systemic barriers that have harmed students of color.”

Racism wasn’t just something that recently was made up to make white people feel bad. It remains woven within the fabric of our society to this day, and it won’t stop just because you don’t want to talk about it. That’s not how it works!

In response to some of the restrictive legislature that has been introduced and passed recently, National Teachers Association President Becky Pringle told USA Today that the union is weighing legal action against these laws, and will defend teachers who are charged with violating them.

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