The Senate Education Policy and Finance Committee dove into the contentious social studies standards on Monday with discussion around books used and the law enforcement weighing in.
The incorporation of the book “Something Happened in Our Town” in elementary social studies – a book that explores community relationships with law enforcement and engages in the difficult conversation of anti-racism and policing – is a particular source of disagreement. The book, originally published in 2018, follows two families — one White, one Black — as they discuss a police shooting of a Black man in their community.
Law enforcement representatives from the state’s largest police organization testified in opposition to this book being included in school curriculum.
This is all part of a larger conversation in both the House and the Senate concerning social studies, and there are multiple bills calling for a halt in the state’s adoption of the new social studies standards. Chair Roger Chamberlain (GOP – Lino Lakes) introduced SF 438, hoping to reduce pressure on social studies metrics and standards so that new ones can be created and implemented.