Culture Wars/Current Controversies

Teachers at culture war front lines with Jan. 6 education

MISSION, Kan. (AP) — What students are learning about the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 may depend on where they live.

In a Boston suburb in heavily Democratic Massachusetts, history teacher Justin Voldman said his students will spend the day journaling about what happened and talking about the fragility of democracy.

“I feel really strongly that this needs to be talked about,” said Voldman, who teaches history at Natick High School, 15 miles west of Boston. As the grandson of a Holocaust survivor, he said “it is fair to draw parallels between what happened on Jan. 6 and the rise of fascism.”

Voldman said he feels fortunate: “There are other parts of the country where … I would be scared to be a teacher.”

Liz Wagner, an eighth and ninth grade social studies teacher in a Des Moines suburb of increasingly Republican Iowa, got an email from an administrator last year, warning teachers to be careful in how they framed the discussion.

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