Americans are diverse – ethnically, religiously, ideologically – but all must pay for public schools. The intention is good: to bring people together and foster social harmony. But rather than build bridges, public schooling often forces people into wrenching conflict.

This map aggregates a relatively small, but especially painful, subset of such battles: those pitting educational effectiveness, basic rights, moral values, or individual identities against each other. Think creationism versus evolution, or assigned readings containing racial slurs. The conflicts are often intensely personal, and guarantee if one fundamental value wins, another loses.

The goal may be peace, but the outcome is too often the opposite.

Incidents are continuously being added to the map. Please send any conflicts you might know about, errors you might find, or questions or concerns you might have to Cato Center for Educational Freedom director Neal McCluskey. Also, discuss education conflicts on Twitter using #WWFSchool.

To dive deeper into why and how public schools foster social conflict, check out our reading list. If you have suggestions for books to add, let us know by emailing the address above.

Freedom of Expression
Reading Material
Moral Values
Gender Equity
Human Origins