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 November Salon features Allison Norrie, social studies teacher and current president of the Association for the Study of Connecticut History, alongside Steve Armstrong, social studies consultant for the State Department of Education, and Jason Villani, Reference Librarian at New Britain Public Library. As always, the active participation of all Salon attendees is enthusiastically encouraged!
Thank you to the George A. & Grace L. Long Foundation, Bank of America, N.A., Co-Trustee, for helping to make this program possible.