Amid U.s. Culture Wars, Classrooms Become Brave Spaces For Honest Conversations
Parents, politicians and activists flooded school board meetings across the country in recent months, desperate to be heard.
In 60-second sound bites, they exploded over masks, books and so-called critical race theory. Their voices often echoed across social media and fueled viral news segments.
But hours after those tense meetings end, teachers and students walked into schools, feeling the reverberations of the culture wars that have consumed American education.
Many children are trying to be comfortable with who they are even as their identities come into question among adults. Educators are left to answer tough questions about history, race and sexuality, hyperaware their responses are under increased scrutiny.
Some conservative students feel like their political beliefs aren’t welcomed on campuses while their families are set on “taking back” school boards, fueled by a desire to expand parental rights and block students from learning about their interpretation of critical race theory.
Meanwhile, vague laws passed in response to the ongoing culture wars threaten to chill candid conversations about history. And teachers are watching as attempts to foster inclusivity in their classrooms go punished.