Defend democracy in the South.

Education

TESTIMONY: In the crosshairs of public education's enemies

May 24, 2022 - A U.S. House subcommittee recently held a hearing into ongoing efforts to limit discussion in public school classrooms on American history, race, and LGBTQ+ issues — and to punish teachers who broach those topics. Among those who testified was James Whitfield, a high school principal from North Texas who lost his job after sending students an email in response to killings of Black people by police and white vigilantes that acknowledged systemic racism and called education "a necessary conduit to get liberty and justice for all."

VOICES: Why school paddling is legal child abuse

May 4, 2022 - If you've never witnessed or experienced a school paddling, it may be hard to understand how terrifying they are to a child. Yet U.S. public school teachers and principals in 19 states are allowed to beat children with wooden paddles, which originated as a tool to inflict pain on enslaved people without causing permanent injury that might impede their work.

The South's schools are failing to teach accurate Reconstruction history

February 17, 2022 - A recent report from the Zinn Education Project comprehensively assesses educational standards for the teaching of Reconstruction history in all 50 states and finds vast room for improvement. The study urges policymakers, teachers, parents, and students to press for more attention to this history in grades K–12 as the era has assumed greater relevance amid ongoing fights for racial justice and historical accuracy.

Civil rights attorney and author Geeta N. Kapur on pushing UNC to confront its systemic racism

October 7, 2021 - The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill was built by enslaved Black people but refused to admit Black students until the 1950s and only after a protracted legal fight — and the school continues to struggle around issues of race today. Civil rights attorney Geeta N. Kapur documents UNC's troubling history in her new book "To Drink From the Well: The Struggle for Racial Equality at the Nation's Oldest Public University," which she discussed with Facing South.