House Bill 5183 is a censorship bill designed to censor the speech of students and educators in the classroom. The proposed legislation would compel teachers to talk about the oppression of historically marginalized groups "impartially" and dictate how students would be allowed to discuss the impact of that oppression on our country. The bill would further undermine educators by subjecting them to a vague investigative process if suspected of being in violation of the proposed law.
House Bill 5183 failed to pass the House before the crossover deadline, but a group of representatives is still trying to exhaust every possible legislative maneuver to send it to the Senate. Meanwhile, senators are already at work trying to hide similar censorship measures in the opaque budget process. Some politicians will stop at nothing to advance their extreme agendas.
Efforts to censor learning environments like classrooms and libraries in which the topics of systemic racism, sexuality, or gender are discussed undermine the First Amendment, which protects everyone's right to receive information. All students have the right to learn about the world in which they live and see themselves and their humanity represented in both curricula and library books.
We'll keep you updated on important developments and calls to action. Contact your state senator and representative, and urge them to oppose censorship in South Carolina classrooms!
ACLU of South Carolina