Many teachers care about viewpoint diversity; we need to support them

Samuel J. Abrams
American Enterprise Institute

Excerpt: The cancel culture movement and forces which silence dissent and disagreement have spread from our nation’s college campuses into high schools across the country. Students today are regularly afraid to speak their minds or to question the ideas and theories they are taught. They habitually self-censor, fearful of saying the wrong thing and suffering undue damage including very real reputational personal, social and professional costs.

While it is tempting to blame teachers for creating a culture of self-induced silence, parents, communities, and politicos alike should really be holding school boards and administrators — those directly responsible for the curriculum in high schools — answerable for the current mess. Unlike professors, who have a fair amount of autonomy in their classrooms, high school teachers have far less discretion. Even with tenure and union protection, speaking out against the seemingly omnipotent zeitgeist of illiberal demands can be career-ending, as was the case for former Grace Church School teacher Paul Rossi when he publicly disagreed with the school’s powerful Office of Community Engagement this past April.