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Educational Gag Orders: Legislative Interference in Teaching About Race

The AAUP has developed resources to address a widespread attempt to suppress teaching about race in American history. In response to the shutdown of a commission created by President Trump to support “patriotic” education, a wave of states introduced broadly similar legislation that would restrict K-12 teachers and college faculty across disciplines from talking about “divisive topics” and teaching about the role of racism in US history and society. These educational gag order bills have the potential to chill the free exchange of ideas at universities and colleges and to violate core AAUP principles.

Information on Educational Gag Orders

  • These FAQs are a resource for one-on-one conversations with colleagues, students, reporters, and legislators.
  • We want to know how this legislation has affected you. Take our survey

Tracking Legislation on Restricting the Teaching of History

We’re keeping an eye out for this kind of legislation as it is introduced at the state and federal level.

Fighting Educational Gag Orders in Your State

Faculty Senate Resolutions Defending Academic Freedom

The African American Policy Forum has organized an initiative for faculty senates to pass resolutions defending academic freedom to teach about race, gender, and critical race theory.

Statements on the Teaching of History

As the situation has evolved, we have issued several statements about political attacks on teaching about race. 

Additional Resources

  • While its scope goes beyond critical race theory, recent legislation signed in Florida would restrict the teaching of history and permit students to record faculty to “expose” liberal bias at universities. Read our statement opposing “viewpoint diversity” legislation.
  • The attack on teaching and learning about the role of racism in the history of the United States is more than state legislation. Here’s our statement in support of Nikole Hannah-Jones after the University of North Carolina trustees chose to ignore the strong recommendation of the university's journalism faculty to award her tenure.
  • More information about racial justice work is here

Media and Coverage

Legislative Wins