Raleigh — ACLU of North Carolina executive director Chantal Stevens shared the following statement after the North Carolina House passed House Bill 187:
“House Bill 187 is a blatant attack on North Carolina’s public education system. This bill would limit free speech in schools and rob students of an inclusive and well-rounded education by suppressing important classroom discussions about race, gender, and equity.
“Our students deserve a comprehensive education that presents as many voices, theories, and ideas as possible. The right to learn, share, and debate ideas is imperative to our educational system and is a core aspect of our democracy.
“Learning about the history, heritage and cultures of diverse communities in our education institutions is also a racial justice issue. In order to address systemic racism in our country, we must be able to talk about it, especially in our schools.
“North Carolina’s schools are facing very real challenges, including teacher shortages, inadequate funding, and the impact of student learning gaps resulting from the global pandemic. This bill poses an additional challenge to educators and would limit teachers in the development of their curricula. Our legislators should be focusing on finding a solution to these issues rather than trying to limit what our students can learn in schools.”