Lawmakers in at least 15 states are attempting to pass legislation that would require teachers to lie to students about the role of racism, sexism, heterosexism, and oppression throughout U.S. history.
In response, educators across the United States are signing a pledge to teach the truth. The pledge states:
We the undersigned educators will not be bullied. We will continue our commitment to develop critical thinking that supports students to better understand problems in our society, and to develop collective solutions to those problems. We are for truth-telling and uplifting the power of organizing and solidarity that move us toward a more just society.
To raise public awareness about the danger of these bills, we invite educators to make that pledge public in gatherings nationwide on Saturday, June 12, 2021. This invitation is extended by the Zinn Education Project (coordinated by Rethinking Schools and Teaching for Change) and Black Lives Matter at School.
This is a national call. While bills and budget resolutions are being proposed — and in some cases passed — in specific states (Arizona, Arkansas, Iowa, Idaho, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, New Hampshire, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, West Virginia, North Carolina, Tennessee, and Texas), the threat to teaching — and the need for solidarity — is everywhere.
How to Participate
- Select a site in your town or city that symbolizes or reflects history that teachers would be required to lie about or omit if these bills become law, which is already the case in some states. (It could be identified by an historic marker, statue, archive, burial ground, or museum.)
- Organize a rally at the site (or online) with fellow educators, family members, students, and community members. The group can be any size. (If you don’t have time to organize a group, pick a site and go on your own. Every voice and action counts!)
- Invite local associations to endorse or join your action, such as the state council for the social studies, teacher education programs, teacher unions, student groups, voting rights groups, climate justice groups, education advocacy and racial justice organizations
- Make signs or download them, when available, from this site
- Print handouts, when available, from this site
- Invite media
- Prep participants to engage with the public and the media (toolkit will be posted by June 2 and an optional media prep session will be offered during the week before the event)
- Post photos and videos to social media with hashtags: #TeachTruth #WeWontLie #NothingButTheTruth