Alabama legislators have filed two House Bills (H. 6 and H. 7) – that, if enacted, could threaten truthful and honest discussions of history and current events in classrooms, universities, and state agencies. These bills could prohibit teaching and training on concepts related to race, religion, and gender and sexual orientation. Truthful and inclusive discussions about United States and Alabama history – like the Trail of Tears, Selma Bridge Crossing, and the oppression of religious minorities – and their continuing impact on present-day inequalities are essential to ensure an accurate and quality academic instruction and to reduce the rate of school-based discrimination. No student or educator should have their history and lived experiences erased from the classroom.
In addition, in 2022, Alabama legislators filed four bills—three House bills and one Senate bill– that, if enacted, would have threatened truthful and honest discussions of history in classrooms, universities and state agencies. These bills could have prohibited teaching and training on concepts related to race, religion, and gender and sexual orientation. Strong advocacy from concerned citizens committed to truthful education stopped these bills from becoming law.
The Alabama legislature is likely to hold hearings where members of the public can provide input on House Bills 6 and 7. These hearings will be held by the subcommittees that are considering whether to adopt the bills. If you are interested in providing testimony at one of these hearings, check back regularly for hearing schedule updates or fill out the contact form below to request updates via email.
Prohibits the government from burdening the fundamental right of a parent to direct the upbringing, education, care, and custody of his or her child unless the government demonstrates that the application of the burden is narrowly tailored to a compelling state interest and the government uses the least restrictive means possible to further that interest. Even if considered benign on its face, HB6 may, among other things, create further tension between parents and educators by subjecting teacher’s expertise to subjective lay approval of a select few parents.
Prohibits all public educational institutions, government agencies, municipalities, and state contracts receiving Alabama state funding from requiring students, employees, or contractors to participate in trainings or course work that promote a wide range of topics which are vaguely labeled as “divisive concepts,” or directing or compelling students, employees, or contractors to affirm, adopt, or adhere to those concepts. These prohibitions, modeled after President Trump’s executive order 13950 which was found by a federal court to be unconstitutional, are ambiguously drafted and may chill or censor discussions about the role of racism and sexism in the founding of our country and in present-day structural inequities. Employees and contractors who violate the terms of HB7 could be disciplined or fired by state agencies, local school boards, and colleges.
Prohibits schools and universities from seeking federal funding intended to fund any training or teaching of concepts prohibited by the bill. Permits public educational institutions to terminate educators who violate the bill’s confusing provisions.
On August 12, 2021, the Alabama Board of Education (BOE) passed a resolution, entitled “Declaring the Preservation of Intellectual Freedom and Non-Discrimination in Alabama’s Public Schools.” which prevents educators from teaching the full and accurate history of racial discrimination and civil rights in Alabama and the United States and their ongoing legacies to the present day. It is a dangerous step backward that emerged from a coordinated national effort to suppress our nation’s history, ignore present-day inequalities, and deny the experiences of Black people and other people of color.
On October 14, 2021, the State Superintendent of Education held a hearing to debate whether the resolution should be permanently adopted into law. LDF, Project Say Something, and the Alabama State Conference NAACP submitted oral and written testimony at the Alabama Department of Education (ALDOE) hearing, where members of the public were given the opportunity to express their opposition to the resolution. The testimony explained that the resolution conflicts with the state’s own academic standards and may suppress the speech rights of Alabama teachers. At the end of the hearing, the Board of Education adopted the resolution as a permanent rule.
By submitting this form, you will be added to our email list to receive updates on pro-truth efforts in Alabama. If you have any additional questions or concerns, please contact ALprotruth@naacpldf.org.
LDF has compiled answers to the most frequently asked questions about Critical Race Theory. Learn more about CRT, laws banning racial justice discourse, and how these fit into a larger effort to suppress the voices, history, and political participation of Black Americans.
LDF is at the forefront of the fight to ensure that America lives up to the ideals of justice and equality for all. The right to free expression and the right to vote are cornerstones of our democracy. LDF and coalition partners are fighting back to protect truth.
We examine the attacks on ‘Critical Race Theory’ and efforts to ban books as the latest tactics to halt racial justice.
A historical view of attacks on truth, efforts to silence conversations about our nation’s history and current inequalities, and backlash to racial justice and educational equity.
Attorneys, education experts, and researchers explain why truthful, inclusive education benefits all students and how to make it happen.
The word “woke” has been a signal urging Black people to be aware of the systems that harm and otherwise put us at a disadvantage since the 1920s. Now, it has been co-opted and maligned. This piece explores how the term “woke” has been manipulated and maligned to hold back racial justice progress.
Dr. Kesha Moore unpacks the anti-truth movement and the coordinated attempts to censor the accurate teaching of American history. Justice Above All is joined by Katrina Feldkamp, Assistant Counsel for the Legal Defense Fund and Anya and Raven, two student leaders in the Southlake Anti-Racism Coalition.