Academic Freedom

April News from the Academic Freedom Coalition of Nebraska

A new issue of the AFCON Sentinel just came out and gives some April News from the Academic Freedom Coalition of Nebraska. 

Vicki Wood, President-elect of AFCON, reproduces her statement to the Nebraska State Board of Education concerning attacks on teachers and school librarians accusing them of providing obscene materials to children. Her statement emphasized that librarians are professionally trained to provide collections that serve the needs of all students and that determining whether a work is obscene must be based on the entire work and not on a small number of sentences taken out of context. 

The AFCON testimony critical of LB1077 is summarized. LB1077 is a bill before the Nebraska Legislature that seeks to ban the teaching of certain ideas related to race and sex. The AFCON testimony emphasizes the following reasons for rejecting the bill:

  • the proposed legislation infringes on the work of local school boards, the State Board of Education, the University of Nebraska Board of Regents, and the Nebraska State College System Board of Trustees and represents micromanaging education by the Legislature;
  • Disclaimers requiring that teachers censor certain ideas while respecting academic freedom create an incoherent and impossible to achieve policy.

There is a summary of AFCON’s rejection of LR278CA, which would eliminate the State Board of Education and place control of primary and secondary education in the hands of the governor. 

David Moshman, Professor Emeritus of Educational Psychology at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln, discusses his testimony concerning a particular program of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion training conducted in Vermont. His testimony includes a discussion of how education differs from indoctrination and includes examples from the Vermont training that he believes show indoctrination instead of education. Exploring this distinction, clarifying how to recognize it, and applying this understanding to our own teaching would be valuable activities for us to have at Doane.

AFCON Website

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