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SPLC Learning for Justice Director Responds to Ouster of Alabama Director of Early Childhood Education

MONTGOMERY, Ala. — The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) issued the following statement from Jalaya Liles Dunn, director of the SPLC’s Learning for Justice, in response to Alabama Governor Kay Ivey’s decision to fire the director of the state’s Department of Early Childhood Education for offering a teacher-centered instructional textbook that acknowledges structural racism, white privilege and LGBTQ+ people.  

“The implications of Governor Ivey's decision to fire the director of early childhood education are far-reaching. It signals the governor's plans to undermine the education of Alabama students by discouraging educators to acknowledge the histories and lived experiences of Black, Brown and LGBTQ+ people. 

“Trained educators, not politicians, are in the best position to determine the appropriate instruction at each grade level to fully prepare students to thrive in a multiracial, inclusive democracy. At no time should a politician be able to carve out or shape lessons that do not suit their own personal or political views.  

“If Governor Ivey truly cared about the education of all children in Alabama, then she would not be perpetuating this nationwide coordinated effort to censor instruction and content that is inclusive of all children in our public schools.”