Advocacy News

Advocates In Action

See community advocates, including students testifying against classroom censorship and other bills that harm students.

Advocacy Tools

Lessons Learned from our Classroom Censorship Advocacy

We actively opposed classroom censorship policies, including leading a large coalition in Texas, participating in national strategy meetings, and working with partners to oppose bills filed in Georgia. As our fellow advocacy organizations continue to fight against classroom censorship in their states and communities, our hope is that the lessons we learned and tools we used in our advocacy can help support others’ inclusive, community-centered work.

See Advocacy Guide (PDF)

Building Supportive Schools from the Ground Up

IDRA’s report highlights how school districts can use federal funds to invest in strategies that ensure culturally-sustaining schools for all students. The strategies were identified during IDRA’s community sessions with young people, families, advocates and other education experts.

See Building Supportive Schools report PDF

Guide to Texas Classroom Censorship Bill

IDRA’s detailed guide of the Texas law (Senate Bill 3) contains our analysis and interpretation for how components of the law affect teachers and school personnel and what this means for continuing to teach the truth in schools. Educators should still consult with their district administration for local policies and procedures related to instruction, curriculum and school activities.

See Texas SB 3 School Guide

Teach The Truth Coalition – Texans United Against Censorship in Education

The members of the #TeachTheTruth coalition, including IDRA, believe that students across the state of Texas deserve an accurate, honest, and quality education that allows them to see themselves represented, to access truthful information, and to learn from our past in order to build a better future for themselves and our country. Together, we will ensure that the voices of our communities and not politicians drive education policy.

See the #TeachTheTruth coalition website

Understanding and Addressing Racial Trauma and Supporting Black Students in Schools – Policy Brief

Students, teachers, school staff and families can all experience trauma related to a long history of racial injustice in the United States and our education system. It is critical for schools to prepare adults to recognize, understand and address racial trauma in a healthy and non-punitive way. This document explains the particular history of racial trauma in the Black community, how this trauma may show up in schools, and how schools must prepare to support all students and adults in their community. It was developed through a collaboration with IDRA and the Excellence and Advancement Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to transforming how communities combat the school-to-prison pipeline. 

Organizations Opposing Texas HB 3979, May 10, 2021

Vision, Values, and Voice: A Communications Toolkit

This toolkit by The Opportunity Agenda provides guidance for developing values-based messages that engage core audiences, disrupt dominant narratives, and help shape the public dialogue. In addition to big picture thinking about communications strategy, you will also find tips and examples of a range of tactics, and concrete messaging guidance in the form of “opportunity flashcards” which provide short and easy-to-find advice and sample language on a range of social justice issues.

This resource is for those working to influence public thinking about social justice issues over the long-term while also crafting effective short-term campaigns.

See Vision, Values, and Voice: A Communications Toolkit

Freedom to Learn – Demanding Accurate, Honest and Fully Funded Public Education

By large margins, Americans support fully and equitably funding our public schools so that every child gets an accurate and honest education, providing them with critical thinking skills and the freedom to pursue their dreams. The majority of voters believe that funding for public schools should be increased in their state, and that this funding should be distributed not according to the wealth of each community but rather to ensure that “each child, regardless of zip code, has an equal right to a quality education.” With respect to curriculum, Americans overwhelmingly say that we should teach “both our best achievements and our worst mistakes,” rejecting the competing claim that we should “focus on what makes this country exceptional and great.”

In other words: the public is with us in supporting public schools. It is time to boldly, loudly, and repeatedly share our vision for public education. When we do, we win.

Please use this guidance freely and as you see fit! We’re absolute believers that if our words don’t spread, they don’t work and as such we are honored to have you use this language verbatim. The pieces of creative are yours to use freely without need for attribution in your advocacy efforts. You can also use them as inspiration when crafting new content in your own voice and tailored to your audiences.

See Freedom To Learn – Demanding Accurate, Honest and Fully Funded Public Education

Advocacy News

IDRA, Lubbock NAACP join Slaton and Lubbock Families in Demanding End to School-Based Racial Discrimination, December 13, 2022

LGBTQ+ Inclusive Education is Not Dangerous, Nor is it a Difficult Feat, by Manav Lund, High School Senior, September 2022

School Support Systems Help Students Succeed, by Shreya Selvaraju, High School Junior, September 2022

Policing Students Through Dress Codes Needs to Stop, by Ryan Cyrus, High School Senior, September 2022

Equip Schools to Support Student Mental Health, by Tatiana Martínez Alvarez, High School Junior, September 2022

Mexican American Studies is American History, by Josué Peralta de Jesús, High School Senior, September 2022

School Safety Requires Listening, by Hawaii Guerin, High School Senior, September 2022

We Need a Well-Rounded Education – An Open Letter to Lawmakers, by Kennedy Moore, High School Senior, September 2022

Dress Codes: A Racist, Sexist History and Why They Must be Changed, by Adam Shelburn, High School Junior, September 2022

Keller ISD Latest School District to Censor Books, August 19, 2022

IDRA Presents Preliminary Findings Showing Negative Impact of Classroom Censorship, August 19, 2022

Censorship Policies Undermine Excellent and Equitable Public Schools, Paige Duggins-Clay, J.D., May 20, 2022

Censorship Laws Don’t Support Student’s Real Needs – Student Testimony, by Alex Ames, May 5, 2022

Letters Demand Books Returned to Shelves in Four School Districts, by Paige Duggins-Clay, J.D., May 5, 2022

Students Deserve Access to Books and Curricula that Reflect their Experiences – IDRA Statement on U.S. House Hearing “Free Speech Under Attack: Book Bans & Academic Censorship,” April 7, 2022

Students Speak Out Against Classroom Censorship, by Terrence Wilson, J.D., March 17, 2022

Letter with recommendations to ensure that the U.S. Department of Education’s Title IX rules provide strong protections against sexual harassment, as well as other forms of sex discrimination, in schools. National Women’s Law Center, joined by 56 organizations including IDRA, March 15, 2022

Georgia Coalition Against Classroom Censorship Statement Opposing House Bill 888, House Bill 1084, Senate Bill 375 & Senate Bill 377, February 1, 2022

A Civil Rights Community Response to Attacks on the Right of Students to Learn About Historical and Ongoing Racial Oppression in the United States, July 8, 2021

Eliminate Bias and Discrimination Against Black Students – IDRA Public Comment for HB 392, Presented by Dr. Altheria Caldera to the Texas House State Affairs Committee, April 29, 2021

Historians decry Texas bill that would restrict school lessons on race, racism, by Jeremy Blackman, Brittany Britto, Staff writers, San Antonio Express-News, May 21, 2021

Historians, parents say Texas bill limiting instruction about race and current events hurt, by Gabriela Vidal, CBS Austin, May 21, 2021

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