Head of Memphis-Shelby County Education Association reacts to law banning critical race theory
MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Tennessee teachers are banned from talking about certain aspects of systemic racism in public schools.
Keith Williams, the executive director of the Memphis-Shelby County Education Association, feels the law does not align with the duty of teachers in the classroom.
“It has to be taught the way it happened. It has to be taught the way it is recorded. Children and people who are learning it may draw their own perspectives. That is not our position to do. It is our position to transmit the proper culture and the correct history,” Williams said.
His sentiments echo that of 350 teachers, parents, and education leaders who wrote to Lee prior to him signing the measure that bans critical race theory in schools.
The measure sparked heated debate among lawmakers ahead of it passing.
”We have a lot of good in our history. We have a lot of bad and so we can talk about it, and we can try to move forward. But let’s not make any one race or sex feel guilty about what happened in the past when we discuss these issues,” said Republican State Rep. Mark White of Memphis.
“Every educator should be able to have in-depth conversations with their students about race issues in America because race will not go away,” said Democratic State Rep. London Lamar.
Schools could also lose valuable state funding for teaching about systemic racism and white privilege. “That is absolutely absurd, that is unheard of, and it cannot happen,” said Williams
Lee signed the measure into law Monday after it passed the General Assembly in early May.
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