Oppose Classroom Censorship in South Dakota
Imagine learning about Christopher Columbus but not being able to talk about the experiences of the Indigenous people already living on the land. Or being a high school history teacher and not being allowed to use terms like "systemic racism" to teach about slavery and its longstanding impacts that perpetuate discrimination for Black people today.
In some states across the country, this isn't just a hypothetical situation. It's happening.
At least a dozen states, including Montana and North Dakota, have taken state-level action or passed legislation to ban critical race theory, a high-level academic framework mostly used by legal scholars to examine how policies and laws perpetuate systemic racism.
What was once an obscure concept, however, is now a catchall term for any discussion of race or gender or topics that make some people uncomfortable. And it's natural that many will interpret a ban on critical race theory to mean a ban on discussing or raising issues of race or gender in the classroom at all. Preventing discussion about race and racism like this is harmful to all students – but particularly for students of color. All students deserve access to culturally relevant teaching, equitable resources, and a safe learning environment. It is also an affront to free speech, a value and a right that should be held in the highest regard. Anything less is classroom censorship, pure and simple.
We don't want to see this happen here, too. Add your name to our list of people who oppose classroom censorship in South Dakota.