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In Support of Honesty, Freedom to Learn, and Anti-Racism in Education

WHEREAS, The NAACP believes that education is a fundamental right of all people and that access to quality education is necessary for a just and equitable society and that all persons residing in this country have a right to have access to their history and the Civil Rights Act of 1965 outlawed discrimination based on race, ethnic background or nationality, and gender or gender identity; and

WHEREAS, The U.S. educational system has maintained both oppressive and suppressive education practices through policies that restrict instruction related to accurate historical events and historical truth telling at large in schools; and

WHEREAS, Such legislative censorship specifically serves as an indisputable attack on racial reckoning, LGBTQ+ rights, and other forms of liberation before and during the pandemic and propagandizes theory and practice, including, but not limited to, Critical Race Theory (CRT), the 1619 Project, and fundamental language used to describe diverse students, and

WHEREAS, Attempts to pass bills outlawing the teaching of CRT in kindergarten through twelfth grade schools is a political wedge issue, intended to mobilize around xenophobia. In reality, CRT is not currently being taught in kindergarten through twelfth grade education, making anti-CRT legislation without merit or substance. Instead of wasting time and energy on frivolous political posturing, lawmakers should pass laws that work to dismantle systemic racism in education and elsewhere; and

WHEREAS, The NAACP opposes the legislation proposed in more than 45 states that suppresses compassionate, rigorous, and truthful teaching practices in pre-kindergarten through twelfth grade schools and postsecondary institutions, and believes that all students have the right to learn and grow in an environment that encourages critical thinking and the development of their own views and voice; and

WHEREAS, Anti-CRT legislation and policies prohibit teachers, schools, school districts, and other state and/or local government entities from enacting curricula or professional development programs related to topics of diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) and from using selected books and other course materials containing racially diverse and inclusive perspectives; and

WHEREAS, Although CRT as it was conceived is not taught in pre-kindergarten through twelfth grade and the term 'CRT" has been coopted by those bent on preventing the accurate teaching of American history, specifically the roles that Black Americans and people of color, and other minorities, played in that history; and

WHEREAS, The NAACP supports education that acknowledges collective pasts, sparks curiosity and critical thinking, and prepares all students for the multicultural present and future, by encouraging a curriculum that reflects a true history of the nation and world, centers diverse histories, cultures, families, and communities, and allows students to see themselves reflected in the classroom; and

WHEREAS, The NAACP stands with educators who teach an inclusive curriculum covering US history while encouraging students to develop their own views and voice, and encourages all educators to review their curriculum to ensure it reflects the diversity of our nation and world; and

WHEREAS, The NAACP rejects the idea that educational equity is a zero-sum proposition, in which some students may lose out on opportunities to help other students succeed, and believes in the value of culturally responsive education that allows students to understand the world and value their cultural identity; and

WHEREAS, The NAACP supports safe schools free from discrimination, harassment, bullying, etc., providing all students with a world-class education, designed to support student well-being, growth, and development; and

WHEREAS, Persons duly living in the United States have a right to discuss race and equity issues in local governments, schools, libraries, and public events without interference; local and national government should not have the power to limit the books in libraries for discussion or review in schools or other venues; and schools and libraries should be allowed to teach the history of race relations and engage in discussion on these topics without interference.

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the NAACP reaffirms its 2022 resolution, Anti-Racism in K-12 Education, opposes censorship legislation and policies, including but not limited to, legislation and policies that falsely purport to be anti-CRT that ultimately decreases knowledge and understanding of culturally diverse groups for students through developmentally appropriate but comprehensive instruction; prohibits educators from using quality instructional approaches that prepare students for further learning and life; restricts professional development related to topics of diversity in any educational or other municipal space; or stops DEI offices from fulfilling their legal and ethical duties in service to students, families, and communities.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, the NAACP calls on policymakers, educators, and administrators to prioritize anti-racist education practices, including teaching about the contributions of communities of color, the impact of racism, and bias, and the necessity for ongoing education and training of staff to support these efforts.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the NAACP will advocate for federal, state, and local/school board efforts that oppose censorship legislation and policies, including but not limited to, legislation and policies that falsely purport to be anti-CRT, that suppress compassionate, rigorous, and truthful teaching in pre-kindergarten through twelfth grade schools and institutions of higher education and/or through the work of DEI offices.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the NAACP affirms its commitment to continue to work towards eliminating the injustices which have historically plagued education and impeded the growth and success of communities of color.

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that the NAACP shall convey this Resolution to federal, state, and local legislators and school boards, the United States Secretary of Education, and State Heads or Commissioners of Education.

Together Power Vote Hero - NAACP

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