Censoring what schools teach on race shortchanges kids; it’s futile.


Rep. Justin Lafferty of the Tennessee General Assembly debates critical race theory bill on May 4, 2021, in Nashville.

When I read that Tennessee legislators had passed a ban on teaching critical race theory in public schools, I remembered the oath I swore to the country when I was hired to teach public school in Los Angeles. I had to promise not to promote any ideas that could lead to the overthrow of our government (I was flattered to be suspected of having such power).   

I do not live in Tennessee and have only been to the state twice in my life, but this is a concerning trend. Restrictions and prohibitions on what teachers can and cannot say or teach about the ugly and ongoing history of race in the United States are emerging not only in Tennessee but also in Indiana, Texas and other states. In Oklahoma, the governor was kicked off a commission on the 1921 Tulsa race massacre last week for signing a ban





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