July 6, 2021

Melissa Westbrook: A Chill In The Classroom

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Melissa Westbrook blogs at the Seattle Schools Community Forum, where she has been watching CRT opponents rise up all across the country. In this post, she spots several lowlights from Arizona, Florida, and Maine

The Arizona legislature, which makes the Washington legislature look brilliant, passed a budget bill in the middle of the night after legislators had been given a 200-page amendment just hours before. Within that budget, there is a bill, there is language that will…


punish teachers who don’t present both sides of controversial science or events, a move that some lawmakers say could force them to seek out and present contrary views on everything from climate change and slavery to the 9-11 terrorist attacks, the Holocaust – and even whether Joe Biden really won the election.

The measure approved along party lines requires that any “controversial issues” discussed in the classroom must be done “from diverse and contending perspectives without giving deference to any one perspective.”

But Udall’s legislation contains no definition of what is “controversial” and, under her proposal, could not be presented as fact but instead would require a teacher to provide an alternate view – or face discipline.

And that lack of definition alarmed some legislators who pointed out that any teacher who violates the law is subject to not just a $5,000 fine, but would be forced to reimburse the school for any “misused monies.”

But really, the issue is Critical Race Theory in teaching.

Read the full piece here.

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