Teachers demonstrated in Springdale yesterday against legislative efforts to restrict “divisive” subjects that can be discussed, including in Arkansas classrooms through pressure applied on the state Education Department. 40/29 reports.

Legislators have already tried to squelch discussion of racial issues at Arkansas Governor’s School and similar pressure can be expected to be applied by the Education Department in regular classrooms. Education Secretary Johnny Key has even said he’s open to more legislation giving lawmakers more say on topics of discussion.

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Teachers demonstrated at the site of a former migrant labor camp and talked of subjects, such as the Elaine Massacre, that haven’t been taught in schools over the years.

Inevitably as legislative and local pressure produces overreach by punishment of teachers, the anti-“divisive concepts” law seems likely to join others challenged in federal court. It’s not only an infringement on the 1st Amendment, but it’s also unconstitutionally vague. The punishment of teachers for honest discussion of topics — even topics legislators don’t like — shouldn’t receive ready approval in a federal court. At least those without Trump judges.

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I meant to post this notice before the rally.

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The struggle continues! Lawmakers in “nearly half of the states, [including Arkansas], have proposed legislation to limit the teaching of concepts such as racial equity…” and the role of racism, sexism, heterosexism, and oppression throughout U.S. history.

 

To raise public awareness about the danger of these bills, we invite educators, family, and friends to join Northwest Arkansas teachers in front of what was formerly the only migrant labor camp in Arkansas on Saturday, July 24, 2021, to stand against what is ultimately censorship regarding this country’s full history.

 

“The purpose of the camp is to build community betterment; to rehabilitate the farmworker; to rebuild worn-out bodies in the clinic; to refuel exhausted human machines by better food, housing, and clothing; to rebuild confidence with self-government and personal dignity. . .” — A.D. Stewart, April 1942