Dishonesty in education policy is not a new thing. From the criminalization of Black education to the arrests and trials of the East LA 13 to now, individuals from historically marginalized, oppressed, and excluded communities have received the message that our histories, our contributions, and our humanness are not welcome in our schools.
A few months ago Monica Washington (2014 Texas Teacher of the Year), Tracey Nance (2020/2021 Georgia Teacher of the Year), Chris Dier (2020 Louisiana Teacher of the Year), Takeru Nagayoshi (2020 Massachusetts Teacher of the Year), and I were invited to participate in the Voices for Honest Education Fellowship. We were deployed as voices for and with educators to combat fear-based education gag orders and book bans. Initially, the manufactured uproar over Critical Race Theory was the pressure point that bad actors located. As this strategy foundered, they turned their attention to LGBTQ students, teachers, and communities. We know that these bad actors are a fringe minority, but, unfortunately, they represent the tail that has wagged multiple dogs at the state and local levels. While it may be easy to dismiss them as a small group that doesn’t represent all Americans, they have successfully removed teachers, curriculum, and books from K-12 schools. One need look no further than Florida to see what happens when a small group gets the attention of an ambitious politician.
We sat down to discuss our work, and to invite you into the struggle. Find more information by finding Voices for Honest Education on all social media platforms. Read our blog, attend our events, and let us know how it’s going in your space.
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