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Fights over politics, race and LGBTQ issues make teaching difficult, according to new research

The so-called culture wars are having a severe impact on schools across the country, according to a new UCLA report surveying principals across the country.

A report released Wednesday showed that the majority of principles report “substantial and growing political conflict” that makes it difficult to combat misinformation and prevents classroom hinders productive discussion at

Last year, conservative-led initiatives targeting race, oppression, and the LGBTQ community prompted state legislators and some school boards across the country to adopt policies that limited or limited dialogue and curricula on specific identities. I came to

Studies show that principals in “purple” districts, or politically divided communities, often face more challenges than others.

According to the report, these communities were targeted by “a small group of vocal parents and community members” linked to conservative national organizations who “aggressively” challenged educators on such topics. was found to be chanting or threatening

According to one Minnesota principal cited in the report, “The superintendent did not tell me in uncertain terms that issues such as race and prejudice could not be dealt with with students and staff this year. When or where to do this here. You have to remember that you are in the heart of Trump country.

Photo: Students walk past Royce Hall on the UCLA campus in Los Angeles on November 17, 2021.

Students walk past Royce Hall on the UCLA campus in Los Angeles on November 17, 2021.

Al Seib/Los Angeles Times via Getty Imag

Nearly two-thirds or 64% of principals say parents or community members have challenged information or media sources used by teachers at school.

Nearly half of all principals, and 63% of purple community principals, said their parents or community members “tried to limit or challenge teaching and learning about issues of race and racism.”

Research shows that between 2018 and 2022, community-based conflict over teachers’ use of media sources and information nearly tripled from 12% to 35% in Purple Districts.

Nearly a quarter (23%) of principals in Purple communities report that school boards or district leaders have taken steps to restrict teaching and learning about race and racism.

Nearly half of all principals reported efforts to challenge LGBTQ+ rights in the 2021-2022 school year. In purple communities, principals were almost twice as likely to say that such attacks occurred multiple times than in red or blue communities.

According to the report, communities where principals reported high rates of hostility and contempt for LGBTQ+ youth were also communities where principals reported less effort to address these concerns.

Photo: Students gather near Royce Hall on the UCLA campus in Los Angeles on March 11, 2020.

Students gather near Royce Hall on the UCLA campus in Los Angeles on March 11, 2020.

Robin Beck/AFP via Getty Images

According to the principal, these new policies have a significant impact not only on the actual content presented in the classroom, but also on how students interact with each other.

About 69% of principals said students made derogatory remarks to liberal or conservative classmates. This is a much more likely recurring problem in the Purple community.

School principals in purple communities tended to report higher levels of political conflict than those in red and blue districts.

As one Iowa principal said: to the other side. “

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