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Initiative to Oppose Divisive Concepts Restrictions - Request for Help

  • 1.  Initiative to Oppose Divisive Concepts Restrictions - Request for Help

    Posted 06-30-2022 01:19:00 PM

    I am writing to the members of the Academic Freedom Community at the suggestion of Larry Paska and Anton Schulzki to seek recommendations of educators who might be interested in working on a project to present a public narrative about the good work teachers across the country do teaching students to think critically and analytically. The purpose is to oppose the spread of efforts in several states to restrict instruction and access to materials as "Divisive Concepts" that teachers cannot teach effectively and students are not competent to navigate.

    My initiative is called The Unalienable Ideas Project. As you will recognize, the name draws from Jefferson's assertion of rights in the Declaration of Independence. Further, we argue that education cultivating students' capacity to evaluate and reach conclusions regarding contested ideas is itself an unalienable right implied in the "pursuit of Happiness".

    Here is a link to a further description of the project. If you are interested or know of someone who might be, please reply to this post.

    Note about my background: I am a social studies teacher employed by Fairfax County Public Schools at Thomas Jefferson High School for Science & Technology in Northern Virginia. I teach AP US Government, AP US History, and an elective called Law & Society. The Unalienable Ideas Project is a personal initiative not connected to my employment.

    Monte Bourjaily
    Alexandria VA