Thus far in 2022, 24 states throughout the country have put forward legislation to limit how history is taught in public schools. Dozens of other states, municipalities, and local school districts, including several in Connecticut, have challenged the inclusion of some books in educational curricula and on library shelves. According to Adam Gabbatt reporting in The Guardian in April 2022, “Challenges to books, specifically books by non-white male authors, are happening at the highest rates we’ve ever seen. What is happening in this country in terms of banning books in schools is unparalleled in its frequency, intensity and success, and it is targeting race, racism, and LGBTQ+ books directly.”
In this four-part Salon series, the Stowe Center invites thoughtful conversation from a range of viewpoints about the right of intellectual freedom, the question of whose words and voices are included in public education, and how, when, and by whom such determinations are made. What books are banned? What is Critical Race Theory? What history and whose experiences are deemed unacceptable to learn about? What role do government, law, and activists play in such decisions?
Our July Salon focuses on the right to read, learn, and discuss controversial or difficult subjects in U.S. classrooms as protected by the First Amendment. With special attention to a lawsuit filed by the ACLU in challenge to laws banning critical race theory, or seriously hindering discussions of race, gender, and sexuality in educational settings, this Salon features Dawn LaValle from the CT State Library and Diane X Brown of the New Haven Free Library, who will provide an overview of select notable book-banning moments in U.S. history, and a representative from the ACLU. The active participation of all Salon attendees is enthusiastically encouraged!
Registration for the July Salon is open.
To register for subsequent Salons, choose a date below: