Across the country, the rampant spread of misinformation about how schools are teaching young people about the history and current manifestations of racism is fueling efforts to censor teachers, omit history, and ban conversations about racism in our classrooms. (This comes at a time when students and educators are also facing stress and division about how to overcome the pandemic.)
A concerted response is urgently needed, which is why Not In Our Town has become a founding member of the Learn from History Coalition, a broad-based bipartisan coalition made up of more than 20 leading organizations representing school system leaders, educators, parents, and students across America. The Learn from History Coalition's goals are straightforward:
- Educate parents and the public about what is actually taught in schools,
- Explain the vital importance of students learning thorough, accurate, and fact-based history and that racism is wrong, and
- Dramatize in an authentic, non-political, non-confrontational way through first person accounts the harm and cost of efforts to restrict what is taught in classrooms across the country.
The Learn from History Coalition, which includes the National School Boards Association, the AASA, The School Superintendents Association, the American Federation of Teachers, National Council for the Social Studies, and others, is apolitical and solely focused on facilitating broad-based, effective communication to shift the imbalanced and detrimental current narrative.
If you are an educator, a school board member, a parent or a student, get involved and download a toolkit at LearnFromHistory.org or text “TRUTH” to 67076.
An example of the powerful resources and messages include powerful statements from school superintendents across the U.S. in this guide for action: Brief Guide for School System Leaders on How to Minimize the Misinformation-Fueled History and Social Studies Backlash.
Please take a look and consider acting on the recommendations right away, starting with releasing an effective statement to the community, as many districts across the country have already done.