NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Public School Battle Map

January 31, 2014

Researchers at the Cato Institute have developed an interactive map that allows users to explore the conflicts taking place across U.S. public schools.

Be they curriculum battles (such as religious or sex education), conflicts over race and ethnicity within school systems (including school mascots), or freedom of expression controversies (freedom of speech versus school authority, for example), this interactive website maps the locations of education conflicts across the country.

  • In all, there are nine types of "battles" identified by the map.
  • In addition to those mentioned above, the map looks at conflicts over gender equity, human origins, moral values and reading material.

Users can search by conflict type, state, year or keyword to find specific incidents, or simply zoom in on the map. For example:

  • In 2011, Kids for Christ filed a lawsuit against the Owasso school district in Oklahoma when the district prevented it from promoting its events on campus. The group reached a settlement with the district.
  • In 2010, the Provincetown school district in Massachusetts instituted a policy allowing any student, no matter the age, access to free condoms without parental approval.
  • In Anderson County, Kansas, an eighth grade boy was suspended in 2013 when he refused to stop carrying his Vera Bradley purse in school. The school said that all students were required to keep their bags in their lockers during class.

The map contains examples of conflicts between 2005 and today.

Source: "Public Schooling Battle Map," Cato Institute, 2014.


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