Jun 13, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Teachers across the U.S. protest laws restricting racism lessons

Thousands of teachers and other educators held protests across the U.S. Saturday against the actions of "at least 15 Republican-led states" that aim to restrict teaching about racism in class, the Washington Post reports.

Driving the news: There were demonstrations in at least 22 cities for the "Day of Action" to raise awareness about moves to limit students' exposure to critical race theory, which links racial discrimination to the nation's foundations and legal system, per Axios' Russell Contreras.

  • Organizers of the Zinn Education Project initiative say they want to send a message that they won't lie to students about past and present racism in the U.S.
  • Thousands of teachers have also signed a pledge declaring that the educators "refuse to lie to young people about U.S. history and current events — regardless of the law."

The big picture: Critical race theory is not taught in any public school system, but it has become a prime target for many Republican-led states, including Florida and Tennessee.

  • The aftermath of George Floyd's killing has brought to the fore the issue of systemic racism in the U.S., and many public schools have since tried to include the matter in lessons, WashPost notes.

What they're saying: National Teachers Association president Becky Pringle told USA Today the union was considering legal action over the restrictions, saying "we'll defend any teachers brought up on charge."

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