The Danger of Educating America’s Youth

Murray, NEB- Students, teachers, and school districts across the country are witnessing a dangerous new era in public education. In what activists describe as “white backlash,” parents and elected officials are pressuring schools to ban educational materials deemed controversial. A fear has spread through the parents of white America that students are being taught what they deem “Critical Race Theory.”

Critical Race Theory is a legal theory developed by experts in law, social science, and racial studies which suggests that the observer can see a history of institutional racism and systemic inequality which still protrudes into our society today. When this theory is taught at all, it is primarily in graduate level courses and law schools. To the best of public knowledge, no public school district in Nebraska or the country teaches Critical Race Theory.

Despite these facts it has been used as a scapegoat to regulate information, restrict teacher’s lesson plans, and ban books. The topics of information being restricted actually extends past race; covering topics from immigration, social justice, disabilities, religion, foster care, sexual orientation, and gender identity.

This attack on education has been seen nationwide; from Central York School District in Pennsylvania to Carroll ISD in Southlake, Texas to Omaha Public Schools in Nebraska. Earlier this year, Central York School District banned a range of books including a picture book about Rosa Parks and novels like Angie Thomas’ The Hate U Give. Carroll ISD in Southlake has made news as the administration restricts the materials teachers can have in the classroom. One administrator went so far to say if a teacher has a book opposing the holocaust, they should also have a book with another perspective. Earlier this week a taxpayer group went to the headquarters of Omaha Public Schools, outraged that the school had purchased books they deemed wrong or controversial. Doug Kagan with the Nebraska Taxpayers for freedom told reporters, “They have books on lifestyles a lot of people don’t agree with. One of the books shows, we think, illegal immigration in a favorable light. Illegal immigration is just that, illegal. We don’t like the ideology of some of the books.”

With all of the controversy and restriction of information, school board meetings have turned into war zones and it has become increasingly dangerous for teachers to do their job. The situation has gotten so out of control that the Department of Justice and Federal Bureau of Investigation have had to convene law enforcement to discuss how to protect teachers, schools, and administrators from threats of violence.

There’s no question that in today’s world, it is becoming increasingly dangerous to provide education and information for America’s youth. The restriction of information, banning of books, and threats against educators has helped to shape a horrifying era for everyone in public schools. The bottom line remains clear; students’ access to literature and materials should not be restricted based on the political opinions or religious beliefs of often white, older, and conservative people.