TEA files lawsuit contesting law banning teaching ‘prohibited concepts’



(The Center Square) – The Tennessee Education Association and five public school teachers have filed a lawsuit to fight Tennessee’s law against teaching prohibited concepts.

The 2021 law describes 14 concepts that cannot be taught in K-12 public schools, including one race or sex is superior to another, moral character is determined by race or sex or someone should face discrimination due to race or sex.

The list also includes: That the United States is fundamentally or irredeemably racist or sexist, that a meritocracy is inherently racist or sexist or that an individual should feel discomfort, guilt, anguish or another form of psychological distress based on race or sex.

The TEA said its lawsuit questions the “unconstitutionally vague language” and subjective nature of the law, which interferes with instruction on difficult but important concepts.

“There is no group of individuals more passionate and committed to ensuring Tennessee students receive a high-quality education than public school educators,” Tennessee Education Association President Tanya T. Coats said. “This law interferes with Tennessee teachers’ job to provide a fact-based, well-rounded education to their students.”

The law also prohibits teaching that would promote division or resentment based on race, sex, religion, creed, nonviolent political affiliation or social class and that ascribing character traits, privilege or beliefs based on race or sex is not allowed.

It also prevents teaching that: Government should deny any person the equal protection of law, that Americans are not created equal with unalienable rights or the rule of law doesn’t exist and instead there are power relationships and struggles between racial and other groups.

The lawsuit claims the prohibited concepts law does not allow teachers a reasonable opportunity to understand specifically what the law prohibits.

“Laws need to be clear,” Coats said. “The prohibited concepts law conflicts with the state’s own academic standards and curriculum, which creates unfair risks to Tennessee teachers using state approved materials, following state standards, and providing fact-based instruction. Educators have already spent countless hours trying to understand and navigate the law’s unclear requirements.”

The law specifically allows teachers at charter and K-12 public schools to teach the history of ethnic groups, have impartial discussion of the controversial aspects of history, have impartial instruction on historic oppression based on race, ethnicity, class, nationality, religion or geographic region and allowing the teaching of historical documents related to subdivisions.

The law requires schools to post a complaint form, prevent retaliation based on complaints, investigate complaints or suspected allegations and obtain written parental consent before involving a minor student in the investigative process along with maintaining complaints for five years.

Read the Black Chronicle Black History Edition for Free! Click Below

Read the Black Chronicle Black History Edition for Free! Click Below



Share post:


More like this

Spokane floats commercial rent control despite potential legal challenges

(The Center Square) – Spokane is considering whether to...

Many celebrate as military education benefit program restored

(The Center Square) — Two months after lawmakers passed...

Texas OLS surpasses 516,000 apprehensions of illegal border crossers

(The Center Square ) – Texas’ border security mission,...

Police officer demoted following sensitive social media post

(The Center Square) – Ten days without pay and...