As reported in the Arkansas Times, pending legislation would prohibit any publicly supported schools in Arkansas “from including in its curriculum or course materials any books or other material authored by or concerning Howard Zinn.” The bill, submitted by Representative Kim Hendren (R), can be read in full here.
This is not the first attempt to ban books by Howard Zinn in public schools. In 2010, Governor Mitch Daniels tried a similar move in Indiana. In 2011, A People’s History of the United States was removed from schools in Tucson, Arizona, as part of the ban on Mexican American Studies.
The Zinn Education Project defends the right of teachers in Arkansas to use materials by and about Howard Zinn. To date, there are more than 250 teachers in Arkansas who have signed up to access people’s history lessons from the Zinn Education Project website. One of those high school teachers and her U.S. history students tweeted their opposition to the HB 1834.
It is urgent that we help these students fight censorship and protect their right to learn people’s history and critical thinking in the classroom. With your donation, we will send copies of a book by Howard Zinn and A People’s History for the Classroom to Arkansas teachers.
I’ve always told my children, “If somebody wants to ban a book, then it is a MUST READ!”
It’s a good thing that tax payers money is being wasted on good “old-fashioned” book burning bills that belittle the basic beliefs upon which this country was founded. History is history and a blatant refusal to accept that anything other than the rose-colored facade of fallacious fantasy negates our fundamental rights.
The Faulkner County Library is responding to this with a book display on the subject of “dangerous ideas.”