Williamson County parent group OneWillCo spoke out this week on the issue of book banning and giving authority the State Textbook Commission to ban books in public school libraries.
Here’s more from a press release:
In light of the state-wide polling that shows that Tennesseans are opposed to book bans, the co-founders of One WillCo, Revida Rahman and Jennifer Cortez, speak up about their ongoing work in Williamson County Schools. One WillCo works to support equity, representation, and safety in schools for students of all races and backgrounds.
“Just like the majority of Tennesseans, at One WillCo we believe that whatever our color or background, we want our children to have an education that tells the truth about our shared history,” said Revida Rahman, one of the founders of One WillCo. “Unfortunately, we are at a point where there is a loud minority of people who are trying to silence voices and ban books that tell the truth in an age-appropriate way. When I see leaders trying to censor the truth of our history, passing laws to ban learning from the mistakes of our past and to erase leaders–even those like Martin Luther King, Jr.–who stood up to racism and changed our country for the better, I am discouraged. But seeing the results of this polling and knowing the majority of Tennesseans agree with us that book bans are not the way to move forward, we are energized to continue to join together, speak up at school board meetings, and do the hard work of ensuring that every student, no matter their race, is able to feel safe in school and receive a high quality education that allows them to feel seen, heard, and represented.”
“From our work in Williamson County we know that the vast majority of parents and educators agree that our students need to learn the truth about our history so we can learn from the past and create a better future together,” said Jennifer Cortez, one of the founders of One WillCo. “And thanks to this polling, we know that the majority of Tennesseans across the state agree with us. Students miss out when we attempt to whitewash our history, or worse yet, to perpetuate myths about what has happened in our country surrounding race. Even many of our lawmakers lack a basic understanding of much of our nation’s history surrounding race; we were never taught it. Today’s students, and students of future generations deserve to know the whole story of our nation’s history, even the parts we wish we could erase. Only an honest education will prepare our children for the future, equip them with the knowledge they deserve, and help them better understand the lives, cultures and experiences of different people. Not only does this provide our children with a high quality education, it also creates an environment where students of all races feel represented and safe.”
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