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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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
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 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
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
Sign up for IDRA email alerts, including Knowledge is Power, with teaching and policy updates regarding classroom censorship.