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Things are Getting Messy

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Free Speech

Bonnie Snyder | 9.22.2021 8:01 AM

Rising frustration with heavy-handed ideology in K-12 education is quickly spilling over into the legal realm. Parents, teachers, and even an entire school have explored or filed actions, and this trickle of cases could easily swell to a flood — if not a tidal wave. These suits raise an array of questions regarding teacher discretion, employer authority, the protection of minors, parental rights and family autonomy, and contractual obligations.

Simultaneously, legislators have attempted to regulate the concepts that may be taught in schools in more than half the states…so far, which we previously discussed at some length in FIRE's analysis of so-called "divisive concept" bills.

Perhaps the most prominent case, and one of the first, involves a biracial student in Nevada who refused to confess his privilege as directed by his teacher and who, according to the suit filed by his mother, was also instructed to "'unlearn' the basic Judeo-Christian principles she imparted to him" in his public school classroom.

In Illinois, a public school teacher alleges that she was subjected to race-conscious training, policies and curriculum that she alleges violate federal law through "conditioning individuals to see each other's skin color first and foremost, then pitting different racial groups against each other." The complaint claims that the district has used teacher training sessions to segregate and impugn white people, calling them inherently racist and privileged, and has compelled teachers to pass on........

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