Pastors Condemn Tennessee Gov's Focus on "1776 Curriculum"

Advocate Andy

Southern Christian Coalition speaks out against alternative history plan

In response to news reports that a curriculum supported by Gov. Bill Lee for use in charter schools in Tennessee involves a re-telling of the Civil Rights Era that downplays the racial injustice of the time, a group of Tennessee pastors affiliated with the Southern Christian Coalition spoke out about the move.

“No matter the color of their skin or where they live in the state, every child in Tennessee deserves an accurate, honest and quality education,” said Rev. Dr. Kevin Riggs, Pastor of Franklin Community Church. “This 1776 curriculum proposed by Governor Lee is not good for our children because it is an attempt to whitewash parts of our history in an attempt to control a political narrative. We all know that in order to prepare children for the future, we need to teach them both the good and the bad of our history so that as a country we can avoid making the same mistakes and so that every child receives a quality education that allows them to succeed and thrive in the future."

One of the pastors who spoke highlighted the need for honesty about history in public schools:

“What good teachers know is that we can't just avoid or lie our way through our challenges," said Rev. Gordon Myers, Retired Pastor in the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America. "We must find age-appropriate ways to tell hard truths about our country's past and present in order to prepare our kids to create a better future. Our children deserve high quality and honest education. And our teachers deserve to be able to teach it."

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Andy Spears is a middle Tennessee writer and policy advocate. He reports on news around public policy issues - education, health care, consumer protection, and more.

Nashville, TN
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