Elementary/primary school-aged students sit around a table drawing.

Year in Review: Depolarizing the Classroom

This piece is part of our 2022 Year in Review, a reflection on some of the most urgent issues and causes that mattered most this year that we’ll face in the next – and the tangible ways you can take action. 

The classroom has become the battleground for the country’s most polarizing and pertinent issues. From efforts to censor conservations about race, sexuality, and gender to the consequences of underfunding, gun access, and climate change, the U.S. educational system provides insight into the country’s current grade: failing.  

Insight without change is unproductive. And classrooms dominated by political and ideological attacks and unyielding disagreements over what schools teach, how to keep children safe, and who deserves protection only serve to harm students. As we transition into 2023, it’s in the best interests of students, educators, and all of us for the classroom to be simply a space for learning, questioning, and transforming. 

TAKE ACTION

• Support a teacher or classroom to get the necessary supplies and resources to help facilitate learning.

• If you are being impacted by banned books as a student, parent, author, teacher, or librarian, use the resources outlined here to take action.

• Support students by encouraging policies and resources that create safety and support for Muslim, LGBTQ+, Black, and Brown students throughout the educational system. 

The Number Of Banned Books Is Rising. Here’s Why

Belying their crusade to defend freedom of speech from the “woke police,” the conservative right has been banning books across the country. The escalating censorship in schools and libraries of books covering race and racism, LGBTQ+ identities, sex education, and more not only vilifies or denies the existence of these communities but creates gaps in knowledge.
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Underfunded And Devalued: Mismanaging The Teacher Retention Crisis

Thousands of open educator vacancies ahead of the 2021-2022 school year drew attention to the teacher retention crisis affecting districts across the country. From a lack of support to disparities in public school funding, the profession of teaching has become less sustainable. Instead of addressing the concerns and needs of educators, short-term fixes and workarounds were applied. Read More >>


How Islamophobia Silently Affects Muslim Students

Bullying, harassment, and discrimination of Muslim students in U.S. schools is a growing problem, creating unsafe and unwelcome environments for those simply trying to get an education. And despite limited conversations and media attention to explicit Islamophobia, the everyday bigotry that occurs in classrooms and campuses remains unchallenged to the detriment of Muslim students and communities. Read More >>


The Myth Of The “Great Equalizer”

From K-12 to college, education is praised as a “great equalizer” that helps level the playing field in the United States. By offering students a chance to pull themselves out of poverty into a coveted middle-class spot, we are conditioned to believe that education is the ticket to prosperity. However, this ideal falls short of reality if you’re Black, Brown, and/or Indigenous or come from a low-income household (or both). Read More >>

2400 1597 Dominique Stewart

Dominique Stewart

Dominique is a writer and editor whose interests lie within the intersections of social justice and culture. She has written and edited for several outlets, including Brooklyn Magazine, The Tempest, and the Broward-Palm Beach New Times. Dominique was the managing editor for a women’s health magazine called Sidepiece Magazine.

All stories by : Dominique Stewart
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