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I ran for the school board in Pleasantville because I believe all children deserve to receive the best educational and emotional support. I’m a mother of three students who currently attend Pleasantville public schools, and my fourth child will be enrolling this fall. Pleasantville is a diverse city in southern New Jersey with classrooms filled with Black and Latino students and teachers. Which is why I was surprised when my son told me how rare it is for his lessons to mention the history and contribution of communities of color in this country.

Learning about the lack of accurate history being taught, and the reality that students of color and those living in poverty were denied the same resources present in nearby school districts pushed me to run for the school board. I was determined that these students have a fair opportunity to succeed. When I was elected, I was truly honored to have the chance to work with my fellow board members and the rest of the community to make our school district reach the potential that I know it can reach.

Now, I feel like we are really starting to see change, and that the students can see it too. Just last month, the high school held their first Juneteenth celebration. While that is a great start, I don’t want it to end there. I’m hoping for next year to be a community-wide event that gives students a clear understanding of the past and a chance to celebrate the future. To me, being on the school board makes me feel like I can make a real difference in the education of my children, and of all the children in my community. If I had to say something to all the parents in the district, it would be to not be afraid to run for something, join an organization, or find a way to get involved in making our schools safer, healthier places.

Cassandra Clements

School Board Member, Pleasantville Board of Education

We needed 283 votes to save our school. Little Red is a K-4 school, the only school in Croydon. The older students are allowed to choose one of the nearby middle and high schools to attend, and our district covers the expenses. That’s how the original budget worked at least.  

We got our last big snowstorm in March, on the day of the annual school budget vote. Anti-public-school extremists used the resulting low turnout to slash the district budget in half. It passed and I was in disbelief. With the new budget, Little Red would close, and Croydon parents would have to pay $8,000- $9,000 per student to send them to public schools. I was devastated thinking of what this meant for my 3 children and all the students I taught every day.  

Other parents felt just like I did. Stand up for Croydon Students, the organization we eventually formed, started off as just a group of worried parents trying to figure out how to protect our children. We eventually found a way that would allow for a budget re-vote, but only if we were able to turn out 283 voters. Croydon is home to about 800 people, and in my time on the school board, only about 50 of them usually came out to vote.

So, we got to work. We spent the next few weeks drafting up petitions, posting lawn signs, calling neighbors, and knocking on doors. To see so many people come together to protect our children, it felt good to know that your neighbors really care about the community.  

It was the first week of May and the YMCA camp dining hall was packed with friends and neighbors. Still, we couldn’t risk not having enough voters turn up, and spent the morning calling to remind everyone how important it was to come out, vote, and protect our schools. The hall was bubbling with energy as the vote was counted, and in a landslide vote of 377 – 2, we won. Weeks of hard work paid off.  

In that moment, we had stood up against extreme politicians to say no to privatizing our schools, that we would fight to make sure that all our students had a quality education. We proved that when we fight together, we win.  


Thomas Moore
High School STEM Teacher, New Hampshire

As a student in the 1980s, I never imagined that the history lessons I received at my well-regarded high school omitted important portions of our country’s past. But that is indeed what happened.

Filling in these missing pieces decades later as an adult left me feeling disappointed in my history education and with the realization that I had been making assumptions about the world around me from a historical knowledge base with gaping holes.

Now as a parent and community member, I understand two things: First that teaching an honest and complete account of our country’s history is essential. It’s essential to achieving our goals of helping children become adults who can think critically and who won’t repeat the mistakes of the past. And second, we can’t assume that our local schools are teaching a full and truthful history. It’s up to us as parents and community members to tell our local school boards and superintendents that we do not want our children to receive a partial or cherry-picked history of our country.

That’s why I am grateful for the Learn from History Coalition. I appreciate knowing I’m not alone, that people and groups from across Illinois and across the country are working together and sharing ideas to support our schools in teaching the kind of history that will prepare our students for the world they will enter and one day lead.

I will keep doing this work because I don’t want today’s students to become adults and wonder what they are missing, as I did.

I hope you will join us.

Learn more about the Learn From History Coalition, including how you can get involved, at learnfromhistory.org.

Saturday, September 25th marked the commemoration of the desegregation of Little Rock Central — when the Little Rock Nine became the first Black students to attend Central for a full day of classes after earlier attempts that September. For weeks prior, these nine students had been denied entry by armed National Guardsmen under the orders of then Arkansas Governor Orval Faubus, a segregationist. Images of the Little Rock Nine being screamed at, assaulted, and spat on made news around the world. But, on that day, in the face of angry white segregationist mobs, troops from the 101st Airborne were sent to our school by President Eisenhower to escort the students in. The soldiers remained stationed there for the rest of the school year to accompany these brave children. The children did not know then that they would become American trailblazers.

That day in 1957 was the culmination of years of legal battles and civil rights struggles so that Black students could learn alongside their white peers and be afforded the same education that had been withheld from them for centuries. This moment in time also reflected the hard work before and foreshadowed the struggles to come, both inside and outside Central’s walls — the battles we continue to encounter today. Sixty-four years have passed and we’re still fighting for educational equity; it’s sad and tragic. Many of my students would not have stood a chance to access these educational opportunities had the Little Rock Nine not blazed a trail before them.

On the Learn from History coalition launch call earlier this month, we all learned about what the coalition would do to provide the educational resources, thought partnership, and clarity of conversation with parents, students, and educators as they encounter rampant misinformation about what is being taught in schools. I spoke about how all too often they fear being vilified or bullied in some way when they are simply trying to do their jobs: teach the true stories of those like the Little Rock Nine. We also learned how the coalition prepared toolkits for parents and educators like myself, to ensure that we understand how we can create safe spaces for responsible, essential conversations about the importance of fact-based history in our schools. Since that evening, many Learn from History supporters have shared stories about educators, young and experienced, who have braved fines, termination, lawsuits, and, in some cases, threats and violence by extremists, simply for daring to teach accurate history.

But these fights aren’t won overnight and that’s why I’m asking you to keep sharing your stories.

As a school trustee, I participate in the governance of an incredibly diverse district in San Antonio, Texas – rich with tremendous cultural wealth. I appreciate Learn from History’s work to ensure that all students are taught an accurate and thorough history to ensure we don’t repeat the mistakes of the past. And that requires that we teach all of our history, both the triumphs and the tragedies.

While serving, I have engaged with parents and guardians on both sides of the discussion who have bonafide concerns and fears. I can relate as a parent to three exceptional children. Unfortunately, we have been put in these challenging positions by policymakers who focus more on the outcomes of their elections rather than the outcomes of students. It should go without saying, but all students deserve a rich academic experience.

I am also a firm believer in educating parents and guardians to ensure issue distortion and misinformation don’t blind them to the realities of what balanced, responsible, and age-appropriate classroom discussions can be when talking about fact-based history with our children. I think one of the best ways to do that is through sharing your story so we can get past the rhetoric and be reminded of what we have in common — that we all want what is best for students.

That’s why I’m sharing my story and am asking you to share your story too.

Having support from the Learn from History coalition has motivated me to be more proactive as an advocate for this issue and help bring others along. Dozens of teachers, students, and parents have spoken up about how this issue is affecting them. But we know they aren’t the only ones out there.

I hope you’ll share your story today and take a stand for students’ right to a high-quality education.

As students return to the classroom, educators continue to navigate the new realities of teaching during a deadly global pandemic. But some educators are now having to face a whole new set of restrictions that have nothing to do with keeping students safe.

Several state legislatures around the country have recently passed legislation crafted to censor educators, including banning them from teaching about the role that racism has played in our nation’s past and present.

A high-quality public education includes learning an accurate, fact-based account of U.S. history. Add your name today if you believe students deserve to hear the truth about our nation’s past.

When we asked high schoolers to share their thoughts about these new laws, one said it felt “dystopian” and like she was being lied to. Another said she felt like her culture was being erased and silenced. Teachers and parents have also told us they’re worried about the harm these policies will cause, including a potential loss of state funding if educators “violate” these laws by mentioning race or racism.

When students are given the opportunity to learn about mistakes and injustices committed in the past, they’re better equipped to work toward a more just future for everyone.

If your state or school district is being affected by politicians’ attempts to censor U.S. history in K-12 schools, we want to hear from you. The more we speak up about this issue, the more effectively we can show how this censorship is a detriment to students and their educations.

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Twenty-five years ago today, on June 1, 1996, 300,000 people stood together for children at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C. 

What began as an historic rally has become a bold and vital organization impacting the education and lives of children furthest from justice across the nation.

Stand for Children’s 25th anniversary comes at a time of unique possibility to make progress toward racial and social justice.

For the rest of our lives, we may never have a better chance to reduce child poverty, increase economic mobility, root out individual and systemic racism, and close our nation’s racial wealth chasm. 

Stand is passionately committed to seizing this opportunity to achieve lasting positive changes for children, for families, and for society as a whole. 

We know you are, too, and look forward to standing strong together in the crucial weeks and months ahead.

Thank you for doing all you can, in every facet of your life, to meet this moment.