Event: Frankfort protest against censorship bills set for Jan. 11 and 12

Forward Kentucky
Forward Kentucky

Opponents of two measures that would limit public school teacher-student discussions of systemic racism will rally at the Capitol in Frankfort on Tuesday and Wednesday, Jan. 11 and Jan. 12.

HB 14 and HB 18 would “effectively impede the teaching – or even the discussion – in any public-school classroom of any material touching upon our country’s history of discrimination based on race, sex, social class, and religion,” says a joint statement from All History Matters and Defenders of Accurate History, the groups organizing the two-day protest.

HB 14 applies to primary and secondary schools. HB 18 also includes public colleges and universities.

“Educators from across the state and country — including Jefferson County Public Schools and the Kentucky Department of Education — strongly oppose [the] two proposed bills,” the statement also says. “These bills constitute what have come to be called ‘memory laws’ — laws that enshrine state-approved interpretations of historical events — similar to those enacted by authoritarian regimes across the globe.”

The Jan. 11 rally will start at 12:45 p.m. in the Capitol Annex. So far, the speaker lineup includes State Rep. Attica Scott (D-Louisville); teacher Kumar Rashad, who will represent the Jefferson County Teachers Association; State NAACP President Marcus Ray; Kentucky Education Association President Eddie Campbell; and the Rev. Joe Phelps, retired pastor at Highland Baptist Church in Louisville, who is active in Empower West, a community organization based in west Louisville.

The Jan. 12 protest will begin at 2:15 p.m. in the Rotunda. It will feature high school students who will stress the importance of teaching Native American and African American history.

HB 14 and 18 stem from the conservative furor over Critical Race Theory, which is taught in law schools, not primary and secondary schools. Neither bill mentions CRT, but a press release from the sponsor of HB 14 included several references to CRT and says the measure is designed to keep CRT out of classrooms.

CONTACT: Jim Johnson, 502 262 0148

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