top of page

High School Teacher & Students Sue State Over Critical Race Theory Ban 

In Arkansas, a high school teacher and two students from Little Rock Central High School have filed a lawsuit against the state's ban on critical race theory and "indoctrination" in public schools, arguing it's unconstitutional. The legal action challenges the state's decision to exclude an Advanced Placement course on African American Studies from state credit, citing violations of the First Amendment's free speech protections and the Fourteenth Amendment's equal protection clause. 

"It absolutely chills free speech" and "discriminates on the basis of race," the lawsuit said. "Indeed, defendants' brazen attack on full classroom participation for all students in 2024 is reminiscent of the state's brazen attack on full classroom participation for all students in 1957." 

The plaintiffs liken the current educational restrictions to the state's historical resistance to classroom inclusion during the 1957 racial desegregation crisis at the same school. These restrictions are part of a series of educational laws signed by Republican Governor Sarah Huckabee Sanders last year, which also includes the controversial LEARNS Act, introducing a new school voucher program. 

This lawsuit contends that the definition of prohibited indoctrination in the ban is overly broad and vague, mirroring concerns raised in similar legal challenges in other states. Governor Sanders has defended the legislation, stating it aims to prevent indoctrination and the teaching of hatred towards America. The lawsuit represents the second challenge to the LEARNS Act, with the Arkansas Supreme Court previously rejecting a procedural challenge to the law.

This legal action is not just about the present; it's a continuation of the fight for inclusive education that dates back to the historic desegregation crisis of 1957 at the same school. This lawsuit is not just about legalities; it's about ensuring that all students have access to a comprehensive and honest education that reflects the diverse realities of our society.

Link: AP News 


bottom of page