National Guides

Students deserve to learn in educational environments where they feel safe, valued, and respected for who they are, what they look like, where they come from, and who they love. Educators and school staff should be free to teach about race, racism, LGBTQIA+ identity, and other important social and historical issues, and collaborate with students and families to build healthy educational environments rich with opportunity, creativity, and belonging. Students deserve to study and learn, to exercise their rights to free speech, and to be able to gather, organize, and advocate for their values without fear of police violence. 

But 60 years after the landmark decision in Brown v. Board of Education, right-wing extremists are trying to pull us back in time, to erase and ban our history and our identities. Indeed, this year alone they have introduced over 400 anti-LGBTQIA+ bills in state houses across the country. These bills seek to police, shame, and endanger students of color and LGBTQIA+ students, leading to devastating impacts on these students’ health and safety.

At the same time, we are seeing an explosion in the number of book bans over the past year, led largely by a small group of pro-censorship extremists, that aim to limit students’ exposure to ideas that fall outside their ideology and accurate United States and world history. This small minority of haters does not represent the view of the general public but have nevertheless had success at using fear tactics to push unpopular policies that censor important stories, keep trans, nonbinary, and intersex kids out of school sports, and make it harder for teachers to support and normalize their students’ diverse experiences.

Instead of investing in educators, counselors, and community connections that are proven to increase students’ well-being and help communities flourish, these Republican right-wing extremists are prioritizing investments in militarized police forces that make students less safe, are working to prevent the honest teaching of the history of race and gender, undo anti-harassment policies, and oust educators for political reasons.

We cannot allow this to continue. Lawmakers should prioritize protecting every student against discrimination, bullying, and harassment while ensuring that schools and educators have the supports they need to help students grow and thrive.

This election, we have the power to prevent another wave of these extremists – who tout policies that dehumanize, endanger, and actively harm our kids – from walking into school board meetings, state capitol buildings, and Congress. We will not return to the days when schools were used as tools for bigotry and systemic oppression when we have worked so hard to make progress over decades.

Our 2024 Schools Policy Agenda:

  • 1.

    Incorporate social-emotional learning, an honest history of racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, and xenophobia, and learning materials and books from diverse authors that highlight diverse stories, in public schools.

  • 2.

    Protect gender-affirming care for all.

  • 3.

    Support federal regulations requiring Title IX protections extend to inclusive protections in athletics.

  • 4.

    Create national protections for public libraries and librarians navigating the unprecedented increase in book bans.

  • 5.

    Create national protections for teachers and education professionals, barring dismissal based on sexuality, gender expression, marital status, or political beliefs. 

  • 6.

    Invest in police-free K-12 schools. Police make schools more dangerous and less safe, particularly for students of color. 

  • 7.

    Protect students’ rights to free speech, organizing, and assembly free from police violence. 

Questions to ask federal candidates:

  • 1.

     Do you promise to ensure that all students and their families, especially students of color, disabled students, and LGBTQIA+ students, feel safe and welcomed, and are able to participate fully within their school communities?

  • 2.

    Gender-affirming care is necessary health care. It has been proven to be medically necessary, effective, and essential for many people. Will you defend gender-affirming care from extremists trying to take vitally needed medical access away from LGBTQIA+ youth?

  • 3.

    Will you commit to using your position to encourage the administration to make explicit Title IX regulatory protections for transgender, nonbinary, and intersex student athletes?

  • 4.

    Do you promise to promote educators’ and students’ freedom to teach, learn, and think critically about our nation’s history and current events, including social issues related to race, racism, LGBTQIA+ identity, and other diverse experiences?

  • 5.

    Can you commit to advocating for federal protections for educators and librarians navigating the unprecedented spike in book bans across the country?

Schools Voter Guide Webinar