Tennessee Continued Attacks Against Education

Author Silas Lee explores the racist and sexist past of Tennessee and it's continued impact on the education system today. 


Tennessee has and continues to have issues on the education front, now they've decided to add even more. May 5th 2021 the Tennessee state Senate voted 25-7 to pass a bill banning teaching critical race theory as well as being able to refuse funding to schools and teachers that demonstrate genuine issues in America and American history. Issues such as sexism, racism, effects of white supremacy, and bias are expected to not be taught in Tennessee anymore. Tennessee governor Bill Lee has signed this bill into law as of May 25th, 2021.

The law in it of itself is nothing short of a destruction of proper education. The bill states that "An LEA or public charter school shall not include or promote the following concepts..." with one particular one standing out for me: "This state or the United States is fundamentally or irredeemably racist or sexist;". In 2019 Tennessee honored former KKK grand wizard and confederate general Nathan Bedford Forrest with his own holiday. Bill Lee signed into law that July 13th was to be a holiday to celebrate a racist, white supremacist while claiming he "didn't even consider if the law should be changed" (Washington Post). I'll allow that fact to speak for itself.

It is impossible to celebrate a racist, a white supremacist, a confederate, a KKK grand wizard, yet claim to not be racist at all. It is impossible to continue to ban topics that are crucial to the education of students and to bettering the country. The United States is built off of trying to murder an entire race of people, abusing oppressing & enslaving another race, and coercing another race to come to the country then market them as rapists and murderers AND trying to build a racist wall to keep them out. American history is riddled with examples of racism, sexism, antisemitism, homophobia, and bigotry.

Another fact, a study done by the economists at the University of Chicago, Northwestern University, and National University of Singapore conducted a study about wages, workforce participation, and age at marriage & childbirth and compared it with the General Social Survey and found that "Prevalence of sexist attitudes is highest in Arkansas, followed by Utah, Alabama, West Virginia and Tennessee".

The bill also goes forth to state that any sort of teachings on genuine social issues could result in the school losing funding. Punishing schools for teaching kids about serious topics and claiming that the teachings are "political".

HB0580 / SB0623 was signed into law but that does not mean that it is to be absolute. Students can protest this, in place of the teachers who had their strikes outlawed. We youth are the strongest people in this country and in this state. It is wrong for dismantling the teaching of history, for restricting what teachers can instruct their students. If you do not teach history properly, people will repeat it.



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