Summary: In dozens of states, conservatives have enacted or are attempting to enact legislation requiring public school teachers to lie or withhold the truth about racism, sexism and heterosexism. The Honesty in Education Act declares a policy that educators will teach the truth and prohibits local school systems from requiring teachers to lie to their students.
SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE
This Act shall be called the “Honesty in Education Act.”
SECTION 2. FINDINGS AND PURPOSE
(A) FINDINGS—The legislature/council finds that:
1) [Jurisdiction’s] public schools must be dedicated to ensuring that all of our students, no matter their color, background or zip code, receive a high-quality education based on an honest and comprehensive curriculum.
2) In dozens of jurisdictions across the country, there have been attacks against honesty in education, including fear-mongering about “critical race theory.” It is a well-funded, elite-driven campaign to erode trust in public schools, inhibit discussions about race, and create a racial wedge issue for federal, state and local elections.
3) Those who campaign for government action against critical race theory almost universally cannot describe that theory. It is a campaign against the truth which, not coincidentally, relies on ignorance. It also relies on mindless repetition, like past campaigns around “Benghazi” and “cancel culture.”
4) Across the nation, there has been virtually no showing of inappropriate or inaccurate curricula actually used in public schools. In [Jurisdiction], no K-12 curriculum includes teaching critical race theory and no one has shown that the theory has been taught. In fact, that part of [Jurisdiction’s] curricula that concerns race is based on credible research, widely-accepted sources, and relevant narratives of lived experiences.
5) It is impossible to honestly teach about history or social studies without talking about race. It is wrong to teach lies and it is essential for our children’s future to teach the truth.
(B) PURPOSE—This law is enacted to strengthen public education and defend truth as the cornerstone of our democratic system.
SECTION 3. HONESTY IN EDUCATION
After section XXX, the following new section XXX shall be inserted:
(A) EDUCATION POLICY
1) It is the policy of this [state/city/county] that each grade-by-grade curriculum should include the recognition that the United States is a multi-racial, multi-ethnic society and, when age-appropriate, discussions of inequality. History and social studies classes should always be truthful and, when age-appropriate, should discuss racial equity and justice.
2) In this section, “truthful” means information based on credible research, widely-accepted sources, and relevant narratives of lived experiences.
(B) NO DIRECTIVE TO TEACH LIES
1) No school district or school board shall implement any curriculum, policy or rule that directs educators to lie to K-12 students about race or ethnicity.
2) No educator in a K-12 school shall be disciplined for talking or teaching about race or ethnicity in a truthful manner that is consistent with the school district’s approved age-appropriate curriculum.
SECTION 4. EFFECTIVE DATE
This law shall become effective on July 1, 202X.