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Statement Opposing Restrictions on Education Related to Racism and History

TLA News

The Texas Library Association Executive Board approved the following statement related to efforts to restrict education related to racism and history on August 10.

The Texas Library Association’s (TLA) core values include diversity and inclusiveness, equity of access to information, ethical responsibility and integrity, intellectual freedom, literacy and lifelong learning, and social responsibility and the public good.

Our members passionately believe that all citizens shall have the right to free inquiry and the right to form their own opinions. Censorship in any form is not only a threat to individual knowledge and growth, but to the foundation of our democracy.

TLA is committed to supporting intellectual freedom. State and local efforts to censor information, curriculum, or other resources infringe on this important right.

We strongly oppose efforts to restrict education related to racism and history. 

We will support our members facing these challenges by providing tools and resources to assist them in countering false information and encouraging conversations that include diverse points of view in their communities and classrooms.

Librarians inspire young people to think critically by reading and learning how they can engage in the world.

To compete and succeed in future educational pursuits and as adults in the workforce and to be engaged in  their communities, Texas students must master critical thinking – learning how to analyze, critique, and respectfully discuss all points of view, especially those that may not align with their own. This does not require agreement; rather, students are challenged to think about the wider world, to seek to understand new perspectives, and to decide if they agree with them.

Texas students come from a wide variety of backgrounds. They live in diverse communities, and it is important that they are taught the full story of our complicated history. Educated students who know how to think critically are crucial to strengthening American democracy. Limiting education and discussion does a tremendous disservice to Texas students and their communities which need engaged citizens that can address future challenges.

Today’s students live in an increasingly global world, and it is more important than ever that they understand our country’s full history and learn to value different points of view. Mandates that dampen free inquiry and discussion of history have an inevitable and chilling effect on the collective knowledge and wisdom of our citizenry.

Approved by TLA Executive Board, August 10, 2021