COLORADO SPRINGS — Educators from local schools rallied at the Pioneers Museum pledging to “teach truth” about United States history.

The rally took place at the Pioneers Museum from 10 a.m. to noon. The event was hosted by Neighbors for Education, a grassroots advocacy group for public education in D11, as well as concerned parents in D20.

Teachers rallied in response to lawmakers across the country introducing bills banning school curricula that teach the role of racism, sexism, heterosexism and other forms of oppression in U.S. history.

Anton Schulzki, a history teacher at Palmer High School and current President of the National Council of the Social Studies, says “Teachers across the country are choosing not to discuss certain topics in their classroom for fear of retribution — including the loss of their jobs —by those who would silence discussion and choke off academic freedom.”

In January 2022, Republican state Rep. Tim Geitner of El Paso County introduced a ‘school transparency’ bill, H.B. 22-1066, to the Colorado General Assembly. According to a press release from Neighbors for Education, the transparency movement is backed by right-wing groups that have opposed policies related to diversity trainings, anti-bullying programs and teachings about the centrality of slavery in U.S. history — also known as ‘critical race theory.’

“This silencing of the free expression of ideas will, in the end, be more harmful to our students as they will lack a comprehensive education in social studies,” Schulzki continued. “There can be nothing more insidious than the eradication of a subject from the curriculum because of fear, intimidation or intolerance.”

Similar measures have been introduced in Missouri, Texas, Idaho, Arkansas, Iowa, Louisiana, New Hampshire, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, West Virginia, Arizona, North Carolina, and many more. Many have targeted such curricula offered by the New York Times 1619 Project and the Zinn Education Project

Students are also concerned about potential changes to the curriculum. 

Meron Hoffman, an incoming high school freshman this fall stated, “Teaching accurate history in the classroom is important because it takes the burden of teaching truth to our peers off the shoulders of black and brown students like myself.”