Following news of textbook publishers agreeing to censor their educational materials at the behest of state governments like Florida, nine governors joined New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy in sending publishing companies a letter to make it clear that censorship will not be supported in schools in each of their states and territories, according to a news release.
In the letter, the 10 governors emphasized their belief that censored materials negatively impact core educational goals and values. They urged each publisher to “hold the line for our democracy” and emphasized the negative impact censorship has on students – especially those who are already marginalized and underrepresented – and our society as a whole.
“Our country’s future is at stake,” wrote the governors in their letter. “You hold enormous influence in shaping how our great nation’s history is told, and the consequences of your actions will reverberate for generations to come …Sanitizing our educational texts for the mercurial comfort of a few today ultimately limits the next generation’s ability to make informed decisions for themselves.”
In addition to urging each publisher not to give into political pressure to censor K-12 textbooks if they haven’t already, the governors made it clear that their administrations would be working with school districts to ensure they are fully informed about which texts have inappropriately censored material as opposed to those that provide comprehensive and accurate information.
The governors who signed onto the letter are:
- Gov. Phil Murphy of New Jersey.
- Gov. John Carney of Delaware.
- Gov. J.B. Pritzker of Illinois.
- Gov. Wes Moore of Maryland.
- Gov. Maura Healey of Massachusetts.
- Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham of New Mexico.
- Gov. Kathy Hochul of New York.
- Gov. Dan McKee of Rhode Island.
- Gov. Albert Bryan of the U.S. Virgin Islands territory.
- Gov. Jay Inslee of Washington.
The letter was sent to nine publishers that sell K-12 textbooks and educational materials, as well as the Association of American Publishers, which represents the leading book, journal and education publishers in the United States.
The full letter can be read here.