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The House Oversight Committee held a hearing Thursday on efforts to limit discussion of history, race, and LGBTQ+ issues in classrooms in several states.
Watch the hearing in the player above.
The hearing included testimony from several students, parents and faculty members.
“Book censorship wrecks a healthy environment for free inquiry and learning, and I have been amazed by the widespread response we have received across the country to our hearing from students, parents, teachers, and authors alarmed by what is taking place,” said Rep. Jamie Raskin, D-Md., Chairman of the Subcommittee on Civil Rights and Civil Liberties.
Americans are deeply divided over how much children in K-12 schools should be taught about racism and sexuality, according to a new poll released as Republicans across the country aim to make parental involvement in education a central campaign theme this election year.
Overall, Americans lean slightly toward expanding — not cutting back — discussions of racism and sexuality, but roughly 4 in 10 say the current approach is about right, including similar percentages across party lines. Still, the poll from the University of Chicago Harris School of Public Policy and The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research shows stark differences between Republicans and Democrats who want to see schools make adjustments.
About 4 in 10 Republicans say teachers in local public schools discuss issues related to sexuality too much, while only about 1 in 10 say too little. Among Democrats, those numbers are reversed.
The findings reflect a sharply politicized national debate that has consumed local school boards and, increasingly, state capitols. Republicans see the fight over school curriculum as a winning culture war issue that will motivate their voters in the midterm elections.
In the meantime, a flurry of new state laws has been introduced, meant to curtail teaching about racism and sexuality and to establish a “parents’ bill of rights” that would champion curriculum transparency and allow parents to file complaints against teachers.
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