REPORT: Curriculum Censorship & Hostile School Climate Bills
A new report from Movement Advancement Project (MAP) examines the wave of state legislation that censors discussions of race and LGBTQ+ people in schools, creates a hostile climate for students, and undermines public education. The report was released in partnership with Equality Federation.
From 2020 to 2021, these kinds of bills nearly quadrupled in number and were considered in nearly every state.
As of March 2022, at least 280 hostile school climate and curriculum censorship bills have been introduced–more than in the previous two years combined.
Over 59 million young people live in the 42 states that considered these kinds of bills in the previous two years.
Curriculum Censorship Bills, Including So-Called “Don’t Say Gay” Bills and Bans on Critical Race Theory
School censorship bills ban or severely limit what schools can teach about race, racism, history, sexism, and LGBTQ people and issues, without regard for educational standards. These bills vary widely from state to state.
Some of these bills would give politicians veto power over school curricula that discuss the Holocaust or the contributions of Black Americans to U.S. history or allow parents to sue schools if LGBTQ issues are discussed.
Hostile School Climate Bills
A growing number of states have also considered or passed bills that undermine a safe, supportive school environment for all students, and especially for LGBTQ youth. Hostile school climate bills take many forms, including requiring teachers and school administrators to “out” an LGBTQ student to their parents, even if the teacher believes the student could be kicked out of their home, face physical or verbal abuse, or be subjected to harmful conversion “therapy.”
Other bills would ban transgender athletes from school sports, roll back nondiscrimination protections, and restrict use of a student’s chosen pronoun--all of which put transgender and nonbinary students at increased risk of harassment and exclusion.