Educator’s View: ‘Don’t Say Gay’ Rules Don’t Have to Silence Teachers
by PRP Group, on 08/01/2022
Some ways to avoid legal peril while still leading students in discussions of complex topics in class
Teachers play a critical role in developing students’ world views regarding marginalized communities. But educators are increasingly being silenced in their ability to deliver inclusive teaching. Since January 2021, 37 states have introduced measures to limit how race and discrimination can be taught in public school classrooms, and 14 have imposed laws or rules to enforce these restrictions. Across the United States, at least a dozen states are considering legislation that will mirror Florida’s new controversial law, referred to by some opponents as “Don’t Say Gay.”
Many teachers, like me, believe that students need to grapple with these issues in a safe and supportive environment if they are going to be successful citizens. But with bills limiting what subjects a teacher can bring up in the classroom — and the potential for lawsuits against districts — it’s hard to know what to do.