Background: Senate Bill 180 would make an addition to Alabama’s core curriculum legislation to mandate inclusive teaching of history and social studies in public K-12 schools. The bill would require “fact-based”, and “historically accurate” social studies and history instruction. It also seeks to promote inclusion in this instruction “of the history and contributions of minority groups”. This mandate seeks to set inclusion as a standard in the teaching of social studies and history in Alabama classrooms.
Our Position: We support SB 180. This bill juxtaposes the anti-truth motivations of House Bill 7, Anti-“Divisive Concepts”, which seeks to censor certain “divisive” topics in classrooms. By outlining the requirement of fact-based social studies courses that include minority experiences and contributions, education that critically evaluates the history of our nation is protected. The “history and contributions of minority groups”, as stated in the bill, are a part of all of our history. The ACLU seeks to advocate for the First Amendment protections of the right to share and learn. Classrooms are a safe space for a critical discussion of history, and the inclusion of experiences that might otherwise be suppressed. This bill would protect the classroom environment and promotes inclusive education.