COLUMBIA, S.C. — Today the South Carolina House of Representatives passed H. 3728, which will censor educators and prevent them from teaching about past and present race and gender inequalities. The bill also subjects teachers to undue surveillance of their instruction and burdens them with unnecessary complaint processes from parents who may disagree with their curriculum.
This bill is sure to have a chilling effect in the classroom, wherein educators are discouraged from referencing concepts like race, gender, or ethnicity in their lessons.
The undersigned organizations released the following statement:
“This bill is a vague and misguided attempt at classroom censorship.
An exploration of America’s full history is key to providing South Carolina students the tools and understanding they need to be part of a building a better future. We must trust our teachers to guide students’ exploration of that history and allow our classrooms to be places where students are free to learn and think critically.
A deeply problematic component of H. 3728 is the fact that it facilitates parent and public complaints, no matter how unfounded, and places the burden of investigating complaints on administrators. This creates an environment where educators are focused on complaints and investigations rather than students.
It is deeply troubling and confusing that the General Assembly would champion classroom censorship measures at a time when the state is experiencing an historic teacher shortage. A bill like this is sure to chase teachers out of the classroom and discourage would-be educators from pursuing a career path that is vital to our communities.
We urge the Senate to do what the House did not and place their care and concern on the rights of our students and the support of our teachers.”
ACLU of South Carolina
League of Women Voters
Lowcountry Black Parents Association
SC Unitarian Universalist Justice Alliance (SCUUJA)
We Are Family
Women’s Rights Empowerment Network (WREN)