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Source Images: Conway school board meeting screenshot via YouTube and books by Kyrylo Glivin/EyeEm/Getty Images Credit: Mark Harris for ProPublica

How Culture Wars Have Derailed School Board Meetings Across the Country

Join us for a virtual panel conversation about the unrest surrounding free speech, library book bans, transgender rights and teachings about race.

In a recent investigative series, ProPublica reporter Nicole Carr examines the upheaval at school board meetings across the country. At least 59 people were arrested or charged over an 18-month period ending in late 2022 as a result of disputes arising at the meetings. The blowups reflect the pervasive challenges that school districts and police departments face in figuring out how to handle masses of aggrieved citizens — and what to do when the clashes lead to chaos.

Among the contentious issues: teaching concepts related to racial equity, granting transgender students access to bathrooms and other facilities that match their gender identity and allowing books with LGBTQ+ themes in school libraries.

This virtual event invites a panel of speakers to help provide a broad view of how the battles waged at the meetings have changed public education and the ideological makeup of school boards across the nation.

Speakers include:

  • Nicole Carr, ProPublica reporter
  • Deborah Caldwell-Stone, director at American Library Association Office for Intellectual Freedom
  • Kevin Goldberg, first amendment specialist at Freedom Forum
  • Carrie Sampson, associate professor in the Division of Educational Leadership and Innovation at Arizona State University
  • Mara Shalhoup, ProPublica South editor

This event has ended.