'Teaching with truth and complexity': Checking in on the state's Black and Latino Studies elective
Connecticut rolled out a Black and Latino history elective this past school year, the first of several recent curricular updates and mandates to go live statewide. This hour, we hear from social studies teachers Daisha Brabham and Julian Shafer about how they worked with the curriculum offered by the state.
Plus, their students share their experiences. Students in Windsor recently led a push to offer the elective to ninth-graders.
Brabham and Shafer also discuss an Educators Bill of Rights they helped draft, along with several educator organizations in the state.
According to PEN America, there have been 78 different legislative proposals since 2021 that are aimed at K-12 curriculum, referred to by the free speech org as "gag order bills." Connecticut is often seen as a kind of safe haven from these kinds of political or ideological attacks in the classroom, but we’ve seen a rise in debates over curriculum and book ban requests in our state too.
The Educators Bill of Rights calls for "learning spaces for students and working spaces for educators that are free from harassment and intimidation," and underscores the need "to teach in accurate and complex ways without censure or punishment."
- Daisha Brabham: Teacher, Windsor High School
- Julian Shafer: Teacher, Danbury High School
- Sarai Pichardo: Student, Danbury High School
- Damela Seal: Student, Windsor High School
- Christine Palm: Democratic State Representative