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Teaching about Race

The AAUP has developed a series of resources to address legislative interference, typically at the state level, in the teaching of the role of racism in US history and society. 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.” While many of the bills in question have failed to advance, they have the potential to chill the free exchange of ideas at universities and colleges and to violate core AAUP principles.

FAQs on Legislation and Policies Restricting Teaching of History

These FAQs are a resource for one-on-one conversations with colleagues, students, reporters, and legislators.

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. The African American Policy Forum has created a useful map.

Statements on the Teaching of History

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.

Media Coverage