Americans are diverse – ethnically, religiously, philosophically – but all are forced to support public schools. The intention behind this is largely good: to unite people and minimize discord. However, as the examples contained in this map show, the effect is often very much the opposite. Rather than bringing diverse people together public schooling divides them, forcing them into conflict over whose values and histories will be taught, and whose basic rights will be upheld...or trampled.
Of course, anecdotal evidence – even the staggering amount soon to be found here – doesn't prove that public schooling is more a divider than a uniter. It does, however, reveal that the assumption many people have that government schooling necessarily has a unifying effect is wrong. And this map is only intended to give users a sense of how widespread conflict is, and enable them to find where conflicts similar to ones their schools might be facing may have occurred before. More empirically driven research on this topic has already been done by Cato scholars, and much more is on the way.
Acknowledging that there might be a problem is the first step toward progress. That is what this map provides.
How to use this map: Select a tab to locate conflict by type, state, school district, or year. Click on a marker for a description of the incident. In some areas, there are many incidents in such close proximity that zooming in may be necessary.
This map is a constant work-in-progress, and many more states will be added over the coming weeks. Please send any conflicts you might know about, errors you might find, or questions or concerns you might have about the map to firstname.lastname@example.org.