(New York, NY) — Today PEN America—in partnership with the American Historical Association, the American Association of University Professors, and the Association of American Colleges & Universities—issued a joint statement opposing the wave of legislation being introduced in states across the country to stifle education about racism and American history in schools, colleges, and universities. Some 75 academic associations and organizations across the K-12 and college sectors signed on to support the statement, including the American Federation of Teachers, the Anti-Defamation League, the American Council of Learned Societies, and many others.

“These bills represent the most coordinated and widespread effort to legislate restrictions on speech, thought, and educational institutions in recent memory,” said Jonathan Friedman, director of free expression and education at PEN America. “That’s why we helped spearhead this effort, bringing together an exceptionally wide-ranging and diverse coalition to state our firm and unequivocal opposition to them. These bills are ill-conceived and irresponsible. They pose a fundamental threat to the educational institutions of our democracy.”

Read the full statement here, and learn more about PEN America’s work advocating for free speech in education.