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The American Association of University Professors, the American Historical Association, the Association of American Colleges and Universities, and PEN America are set to release a joint statement opposing widespread legislative proposals to ban the teaching of critical race theory and other “divisive concepts.” Such state-level bills and laws risk infringing on the rights of faculty to teach and students to learn, the statement says, as “the clear goal of these efforts is to suppress teaching and learning about the role of racism in the history of the U.S.” Political mandates are not a proper substitute for the “considered judgement” of educators, the statement says, and they hinder students’ ability to “learn and engage in critical thinking across differences and disagreements.”

“Americans of all ages deserve nothing less than a free and open exchange about history, and the forces that shape our world today, an exchange that should take place inside the classroom as well as in the public realm generally,” the statement continues. “To ban tools that enable those discussions is to deprive us all of the tools necessary for citizenship in the 21st century.”

The full statement and list of signatories will be released on Wednesday.