Pro-Truth SC Coalition Condemns the Fast-Tracking of an Educational Censorship Bill
by SC Pro Truth Coalition on Apr 1, 2022
COLUMBIA, SC— The South Carolina Pro-Truth in Ed Coalition will host a press conference at the African-American History Monument at the statehouse this Saturday, April 2 at 11 AM.
Members of the SC House of Representatives have fast-tracked a new committee bill that would censor the teaching of truthful history in SC classrooms without giving the public or any African American subcommittee members an opportunity to weigh-in. On Tuesday, March 29, the House Education and Public Works Committee gave a favorable report to H.5183, a new bill that has not been properly vetted by educators, school administrators, parents, or students–the people who will be most impacted if the bill passes. The legislation was drafted after three polarizing subcommittee hearings on the bill’s predecessors, H.4325, H.4343, H.4392, H.4605 and H.4799, where subcommittee members heard nearly 18 hours of public testimony. A strong majority of those who submitted public testimony spoke against all 5 aforementioned bills.
The new bill passed out of committee along racial and party lines, with all 12 white Republican committee members voting for it and all five Black Democratic members voting against it.
This bill is yet another attempt by lawmakers to weaponize the legislative process and attack marginalized people. We will not stand for the wholesale destruction of our state’s public education system, and we will not tolerate state-sanctioned racism, sexism, or discrimination in the classroom
Marcus McDonald: E3 Foundation
Courtney Thomas: Women’s Rights and Empowerment Network
Frank Houston: Historic Waverly Neighborhood Association
Representative Jerry Govan: House District 95 (Orangeburg County), Education and Public Works Committee member
April Richardson: Black Voters Matter
If passed, this bill would:
Force educators to have impartial or neutral conversations about historic atrocities.
Create a new unnecessary investigation process that may force schools to hire new staff or rearrange their already limited budgets.
Ban mandatory discrimination/gender training for K-12 Teachers
Create new, confusing, and unnecessary burdens and restrictions on educators at a time when they need our support the most.
South Carolina is already suffering from a massive teacher shortage. We already rank among the bottom ten states in education. It is not the role of legislators to dictate how educators do their jobs, and this interference with schools will only serve to make teachers’ jobs more difficult.
Teachers should not be expected to remain neutral on conversations about slavery, the Holocaust, or the genocide of Indigenous people.
Legislators must trust our educators to do the jobs they are trained to do without fear of arbitrary investigations or loss of funding.
Teachers have made their needs painfully clear to legislators, and those needs include better pay, shorter working hours, smaller class sizes, and mental health support for students, not unnecessary burdens.
Speakers will be available for interviews upon request.
Saturday, April 2
Program begins at 11:00 am
South Carolina Statehouse
1100 Gervais St, Columbia, SC
African American History Monument
The Pro-Truth SC Coalition is a South Carolina-based network of advocates and organizations, including The E3 Foundation, the Lowcountry Black Parents Association, NAACP Legal Defense & Educational Fund, and the ACLU of South Carolina. The coalition is advocating for teaching the full and accurate history of civil rights, the African American Freedom Struggle, the history of violence against Indigenous people, and ongoing racial and gender discrimination in South Carolina and the United States.