We, the Kentucky Council for the Social Studies Executive Committee, denounce the actions of any person or group who strives to undermine the democratic processes and principles that have served our country for over 230 years. Elections, the electoral process, and the peaceful transfer of power are among the many factors that have upheld the oldest democracy in the world.
As social studies educators, it is our duty to help prepare our students to become active and informed citizens. It is equally important to distinguish the difference between peaceful, constructive protest and violent insurrection. We encourage teachers to engage in these difficult conversations with their students, and not be afraid to draw the line for students between constructive and destructive protest.
We also understand that there is a vocal minority who is feeling hurt and betrayed by our democracy right now, and we will have students in our classrooms who similarly feel this way. It is our duty as educators to encourage these students to find ways to get involved in the democratic process and bring about change and cooperation in a positive way.
We challenge teachers to consider how they take action and support civic engagement endeavors. In the words of Howard Zinn, “you can’t be neutral on a moving train.”
As a council, we will continue to advocate on behalf of students’ need for a democratic education, where they have opportunities to learn and practice the needed skills and dispositions to engage in democratic civic life.
Please see the resources listed below that might help you to begin the thinking and planning for how you can support courageous conversations and opportunities for students to take informed action for your students.
When Bad Things Are Happening
Facing History: Responding to the Insurrection at the US Capitol
Plan Ahead With Our Teacher Checklist
How to talk to your kids about violence at the US Capitol