Senate Bill 138 would violate the First Amendment by dictating how teachers discuss history and prohibiting curiculum requirements that include teaching about current events.
We wrote to the Senate Judiciary Committee ahead of their February 17, 2022, meeting. See letter in PDF below. Click below to add your name to our petition urging lawmakers to oppose this harmful legislation.
The problem with bills like Senate Bill 138:
Bills that would prohibit classroom discussions on topics such as race, sex, religion, creed, nonviolent political affiliation, or social class are striking examples of government censorship and could be subject to legal challenge. Government censorship is unconstitutional, even in schools. In 1969, the US Supreme Court ruled 7-2 in Tinker v. Des Moines Independent Community School District that students do not “shed their constitutional rights to freedom of speech or expression at the schoolhouse gate.”
These bills are a solution in search of a non-existent problem and would create many real problems themselves. They would whitewash history, perpetuate white supremacy, and deny educators and students the right to free speech.
From slavery to worker exploitation, Kentucky has its own complicated history that we must understand to create a better future. Teachers need more resources and students need access to counselors, after-school programming, and therapists.