This email was sent to ALL KY Lawmakers on December 29, 2021. Use the handy links on our website to send your email to ALL KY Lawmakers in just three clicks.
Dear KY Lawmakers,
The truth is not always comfortable to hear. Those who are in a position to do so may simply refuse to participate in uncomfortable conversations. Others may even go so far as to prohibit the teaching of information that they may consider “divisive,” simply because it makes them or others like them uncomfortable.
However, this is a privilege that is not afforded to everyone, and especially not our Kentucky families whose lived experiences do not align with what is currently taught in our public schools. Furthermore, schools that refuse to embrace concepts of equity, diversity and inclusion add to the trauma many students who feel bullied, isolated and even abused may experience, simply for being their best selves.
And now a disinformation campaign that favors the feelings of the privileged few, while dismissing the lived experiences of our state’s most marginalized residents, is sweeping the nation. Some lawmakers who want to take this imbalance of representation in our classrooms even further have proposed wasteful, unconstitutional legislation that would ban the teaching of accurate history in our public schools.
In so doing, they are the ones actually spreading hate and fear, the very things they claim their bills would prevent. A quick check of the demographics of those who favor this antiquated legislation are mostly white, while the majority of stakeholders in JCPS, a district that is mostly non-white, oppose it. Clearly those who call the teaching of concepts related to equity, diversity and inclusion “divisive” or even “discriminatory” are the ones who benefit the most by rejecting these truths in favor of maintaining status quo.
Our state’s classroom curriculum, activities and textbooks are already slanted in a way that mostly white, mostly straight, mostly Christian men’s perspectives dominate. By specifically targeting topics related to race, sex and religion, this legislation would put a chill on any efforts to encourage critical thinking around the roles these factors may have played in history, and would set the stage for making some of the same horrific and avoidable mistakes all over again.
For years, grassroots organizations, educators, parents/guardians and students have been raising the very real concerns that our lawmakers must address in our public schools, NOT more tilting at windmills, NOT creating witch hunts to go after our best teachers, and NOT coming up with more reasons to choke out what last breaths our public schools and teachers have left in them.
The proposed bills would ban teachers from teaching (and prevent students from learning!) accurate history, and due to their emergency provision, would wreak havoc immediately in districts with highly diverse populations. These bills must not come out of committee, because once they do, there is nothing else to stop them from passing our mostly white, mostly GOP-loyal legislature, despite the fact that these laws are unnecessary, unconstitutional, and would unfairly and unjustly tie the hands of more diverse districts such as Jefferson and Fayette County, and wind up wasting more precious time and resources that our students and schools do not have.
Former President Eisenhower’s quote, inscribed on the wall of the Holocaust Museum, reminds us,
“I made the visit deliberately, in order to be in a position to give first-hand evidence of these things, if ever, in the future, there develops a tendency to charge these allegations to propaganda.”
Efforts to suppress the teaching of our nation’s collective truths, no matter how well-intentioned, must be stopped immediately, before they go any further.
Please STOP BR 60 and BR 69 and instead SUPPORT Attica Scott’s bills, such as BR427, that would require teaching of the rich, accurate history of racism in our country and state, regardless how uncomfortable it makes us feel.
The future of our humanity depends on it.
Save Our Schools Kentucky, President & Co-founder (2016- Present)
Dear JCPS, President & Co-founder (2015 – Present)
Kentucky Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression, Board Member (2020-2022)
GCIPL Fellow (2014)
Academy @ Shawnee PTSA, Founder and Past-president (2013-2016)