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Letter: Kids deserve the right to learn our complete racial history

Letter: Kids deserve the right to learn our complete racial history

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Regarding “State GOP embraces censorship in trying to ban the 1619 Project” (April 30): There are two bills currently moving through the Missouri House of Representatives that attack the ability of schools to teach facts to our kids: House Bill 1141 (Amendment 23) and House Bill 952. Our kids deserve much, much better than these bills propose. I believe these bills seek to deny our children the right to learn a full picture of history.

They ban specific resources like the 1619 Project and censor teaching anything that classifies groups by race or income or defines any institutions or entities as systemically racist or biased. When I shared the language of these bills with my son, he said it sounded like a dystopian novel. He knows what he’s talking about. Middle-schoolers read a lot of dystopian fiction.

Unless we are actively trying to avoid the issue, we know that our history of slavery profoundly impacts our society today. Our kids know it, and they want to learn about it. They want to know how to fix things. But before they can wrestle with that, they need to know how we got here in the first place. Why should we be afraid of that? Why shouldn’t we want to help our kids think through how we can finally live up to the ideals of our country?

If we’re ever going to fix racism, it’ll take an accurate understanding of our history, so please help make sure these bills don’t become laws.

Lesli Moylan • Kirkwood

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