The Divisive Acts Bill against teaching racism won’t fix anything

Bill 2595 prohibits West Virginia schools from teaching anything that facilitates “divisive acts”. The bill states that we shouldn’t be teaching kids that the U.S. is “fundamentally racist”, which is problematic as not teaching about racism will only further the problem of racism.

Rebecca Meacham, Assistant Professor of Psychology, said, “I am so saddened that West Virginia, my home state, is promoting this bill. We are the progressive state that was most effectively vaccinating its citizens. We are the CIVIL WAR state that separated from Virginia because we so opposed slavery; why erase over 150 years of taking a stand against unjust policies? Montani Semper Liberi (Mountaineers Are Always Free—Our State Motto)? Don’t limit our freedom to educate others and to stand against many of the social problems that plague our state and nation.”

Dr. Eveldora Wheeler, Associate Professor of Social Work, said, “If House Bill 2595 becomes law in West Virginia, professors teaching Ethnicity Culture Awareness courses would be prohibited from presenting historical facts of past and present prejudice and discrimination in our country. Is it divisive to speak the truth? In my course, students are exposed to the implication and harmful impact of bias and stereotypes as it relates to all ethnic groups. Additionally, academic discourse can help students understand the pain of racism and how to bring healing to our country as new policy makers. HB 2595, will hinder the process of fruitful learning and sustained dialogue (Saunders, 2011).”

Learning about racism doesn’t create more racism, so why take important education away? If you agree you can sign the linked petition and share it to spread awareness.