Journal of Educational Controversy


Tuesday, April 25, 2023

The Journal of Educational Controversy Announces a New Call for Papers: Facilitating Discussions of Controversial Issues in Difficult Times

The Journal of Educational Controversy announces a new call for papers for Volume 16.

Theme: Facilitating Discussions of Controversial Issues in Difficult Times

Controversy Addressed:

Controlling speech in classrooms has been an issue for as long as there have been schools. Who gets to speak, what they are allowed to say, what counts as a legitimate topic for discussion, and what constitutes “truth” have always been determined by the economic and political processes that control education. Recently, these processes have become the subject of public debate and political controversy.  From both the putative right and the putative left, morally inflected demands for control of classroom conversation have made headlines and have played a role in funding, legislation, lawsuits, campaigning, and voting choices. Bans on certain words, trigger warnings, a shift from politics to psychology, a focus on trauma, fear of certain theories (usually those with “critical” in their title), the struggle for control of historical narratives, the censorship of invited speakers, and the framing of identities have all become part of the discussion of what can and cannot be said in a classroom, what will and won’t get funded, and who can be fired for speech.

We invite authors to bring clarity and illumination to these issues from a conceptual, philosophical, historical, and political perspective and to offer ideas about actual classroom practices.

 ·       What do we mean by a controversy? Do all differences of opinion count as legitimate controversies? What purpose does the discussion of controversies play in the education of democratic citizens?

·       What are some effective practices in the teaching for complexity through the classroom discussion of controversial issues in the different disciplines—literature, science, social studies, history, environmental studies, mathematics, political science, economics, psychology, the arts and theater, etc.

·       What is the legitimate scope of decision-making by teachers and librarians based on professional knowledge, by the democratic control of education through state legislatures and governors, by local vs. state authority, by the rights and concerns of parents.

 Deadline for Manuscripts: October 15, 2023

Sunday, March 12, 2023

The Journal’s latest issue on “Teaching for Social Justice in a Highly Politicized Historical Moment” is now Online

I am pleased to announce that our special issue on “Teaching for Social Justice in a Highly Politicized Historical Moment” is now online at the Journal of Educational Controversy.  Here is a direct link:   Please consider continuing the conversation by contributing a rejoinder.

Authors responded to the following controversial scenario:

As the nation begins to reckon with its racial past, it is now experiencing a backlash by some states that are implementing laws and policies that will target how civics education, controversial topics, and divisive issues will be discussed from kindergarten through higher education.  From restrictions on the teaching of academic theories that analyze systemic racism to limiting other race-related discussions in the classroom, actions by these states pose not only a challenge and a danger to traditional academic freedom but also to the very definition of the role of education in a democratic society.

 This issue of the Journal of Educational Controversy asks authors to contribute their thoughts on issues such as:

 1.            How should racism be appropriately addressed at different age levels and the college classroom?  What social, historical, political, and cultural understandings should be brought to bear on the conversation?  How do we defend the educational significance for the choices we make?  How do we act in proactive ways to engage in such work so that we are not forced to be reactive?

2.            How are we to understand the political nature of the attacks against theories like Critical Race Theory and other current political actions by states to restrict and censor discussions on race in order for us to counter them more effectively?  What political dynamics and historical precedents are at play?  Can incidents from the past illuminate a response today?

3.            How should university professors prepare the next generation of teachers in confronting these issues?

4.           What would it look like if a college of education took on the work of dismantling structural racism?

Below is the table of contents from the journal:




Teaching for Social Justice in a Highly Politicized Historical Moment
Lorraine Kasprisin
Vol. 15, Iss. 1

Theme: Teaching for Social Justice in a Highly Politicized Historical Moment

Articles in Response to Controversy


The Sociohistorically Situated and Structurally Central Nature of Race: Toward an Analytic of Research regarding Race and Racism
Rolf Straubhaar
Vol. 15, Iss. 1

Theme: Teaching for Social Justice in a Highly Politicized Historical Moment


A critically conscious analysis of institutionalized racism in teacher education: Imagining anti-racist teacher preparation spaces
Tatiana Joseph, Jennifer Brownson, Kristine Lize, Elizabeth Drame, and Laura Owens
Vol. 15, Iss. 1

Theme: Teaching for Social Justice in a Highly Politicized Historical Moment


“Teaching in a War Zone”: A Collective Reflection on Learning from a Diversity Course in Contentious Times
Elena Aydarova, Jacob Kelley, and Kristen Daugherty
Vol. 15, Iss. 1

Theme: Teaching for Social Justice in a Highly Politicized Historical Moment


Dissonance as an Educational Tool for Coping with Students’ Racist Attitudes
Adar Cohen
Vol. 15, Iss. 1

Theme: Teaching for Social Justice in a Highly Politicized Historical Moment


Stories Read and Told in an Antiracist Teaching Book Club
Jennifer Ervin and Madison Gannon
Vol. 15, Iss. 1

Theme: Teaching for Social Justice in a Highly Politicized Historical Moment


Troubling the Null Curriculum through a Multiple-Perspectives Pedagogy: A Critical Dialogue Between Two Equity-Minded Teacher Educators
Rachel Endo and Deb Sheffer
Vol. 15, Iss. 1

Theme: Teaching for Social Justice in a Highly Politicized Historical Moment


On the continuity of learning, teaching, schooling: Mead’s educational proposal, from the perspective of decolonization and Land/place-based education
Cary Campbell Dr.
Vol. 15, Iss. 1

Theme: Teaching for Social Justice in a Highly Politicized Historical Moment

About the Authors


About the Authors

Vol. 15, Iss. 1

Theme: Teaching for Social Justice in a Highly Politicized Historical Moment

Monday, January 16, 2023

Some Personal Reflections on Martin Luther King Jr. Day

 Welcome back to our blog for the new year.  On this Martin Luther King, Jr. day, I am re-sharing some personal thoughts.  In 1991 I delivered the commencement address at Western Washington University.  Because I was honored to have Martin Luther King, Jr. as my commencement speaker back in 1963, I chose to treat my address as a conversation through time from Dr. King's words to me at my graduation - filtered through my life's experiences over the years – then to the young audience of new graduates as they embarked on their own journey and continued the conversation with their own generation.  I thought I would once again share this experience with my readers.


Personal Reflections on the Influence of Martin Luther King’s Commencement Address Two Months Before the 1963 March on Washington

I first learned about the March on Washington from Martin Luther King, Jr. who was the commencement speaker at my June 1963 graduation from the College of the City of New York. With the 50th anniversary of the historic march on Washington coming up on August 28th, I have been thinking about that commencement event that occurred just two months before the march and the effect that it was to have on my life. In fact, the events of those years had a profound influence on who I was to become as a person. They shaped my social conscience. They shaped the kind of moral questions that I continue to raise in my life even today. And they shaped the type of choices that I made in my life--- my decision to be a teacher, my decision to study philosophy - seriously and deeply, my decision to try to raise the old Socratic questions about the good life and the just society that Socrates raised 2500 years ago and which Dr. King was to raise later under a different set of circumstances, at a different moment in history, to my generation. Ultimately, it led to the creation of the Journal of Educational Controversy and this blog.

In 1991, I was asked to deliver my own commencement address at Western Washington University as that year’s recipient of the university’s teaching award. The address gave me an opportunity to think about the nature of such speeches and their purpose. I decided to take a different approach from the traditional ones that are delivered at most commencements. Rather than viewing my own commencement address as an event in time and space - a talk given on the morning of December 14, 1991 in a small university town, I chose to treat it as a conversation that occurs through time - from Dr. King's words to me at my graduation - filtered through my life's experiences over the years – then to the young audience of new graduates as they embarked on their own journey and continued the conversation with their own generation. It was in a sense a conversation from one generation to the next about the questions that are central to why we educate - questions about the kind of persons we become - and ultimately, questions about the kind of community we create. It is a conversation, I might add, that is sadly lacking in the public debate of our time. One has only to listen to the media each night to see how far we are from a true conversation on these questions.

I remember first talking about the nature of an authentic conversation and ways that it differs from the many false versions of it, for example, political conversations that have been increasingly reduced to a manipulation of the voter through effective 90 second sound-bites over the airwaves where issues become mere vehicles for projecting images rather than the source of concerned social debate. I remember talking about the way conversations about public education in this country have become increasingly articulated in a language in which impersonal, technical thinking dominates -- generating an educational ethos in which ethics as a category of discussion is largely suppressed. The liberal language of social action and social critique has been more and more reduced to a language of social control. But even those conversations which seem to affirm human agency and assert liberal values become emptied of their content when they are used inauthentically. The same words that can be used in a genuine, meaningful public debate can also be used to silence. Earlier in the last century, the American philosopher and educator, John Dewey expressed this concern when he wrote:

Even when the words remain the same they mean something very different when they are uttered by a minority struggling against repressive measures and when expressed by a group that, having attained power, then uses ideas that were once weapons of emancipation as instruments for keeping the power and wealth it has obtained. Ideas that at one time are means of producing social change assume another guise when they are used as a means of preventing further social change.1

I pondered with my young audience about the nature of a more authentic conversation. For one thing, a conversation is not something that can be received or transmitted from one person to another; it has to be entered into; it has to be engaged in. Furthermore, it establishes a certain kind of relationship between us and the other - a relationship in which both remain as subjects and neither are objectified and dehumanized by being made into an object for the other. Essentially, there are two features I distinguished: 

First, to enter into a true conversation requires us to really hear the other. We often listen but we seldom really hear. To understand the world of the other, whether the other is in the present or in the past, is to understand the ways the other has come to give meaning to our common experience, to understand the categories and concepts that shape its sense of social reality. It means to see the other, as much as is possible, from the inside - from a different reference point from our own. As the philosopher, Cora Diamond describes it, "Coming to understand a conceptual life other than our own involves exercise of concepts belonging to that life. When I understand what you say, I am using concepts internal to your thought."2 It is to appreciate what it means for persons or cultures to have such concepts as live notions governing their being in the world.

For example, only now are many of us beginning to comprehend our fragile relationship with our planet as the ozone slowly depletes and our rivers and lakes pollute. Our 19th century optimism about progress, science and technology, our dominion over the earth left us with a language and a conceptual framework that blocked us from seeing another way of relating to the earth. But ironically, it is a way that Jamake Highwater, of the Blackfeet Nation, talks about in his book, The Primal Mind: Vision and Reality in Indian America.3 When one enters into his world, words like "wilderness" take on a whole different meaning. Indeed, Highwater talks about the alienation he felt in seeing the way certain ideas he had grown up with found their way into English words. When thinking about what is implied by our word, "wilderness," he writes, "After all, the forest is not 'wild' in the sense that it is something needing to be tamed or controlled and harnessed. For Blackfeet Indians, the forest is the natural state of the world. It is the cities that are wild and seem to need 'taming.' For most primal peoples the earth is so marvelous that the connotation of it requires it to be spelled in English with a capital 'E.' How perplexing it is to discover two English synonyms for Earth - 'soil' and 'dirt' - used to describe uncleanliness, soiled and dirty. And how upsetting it is to discover that the word 'dirty' in English is also used to depict obscenities!"4 What does it mean to see the world with the conceptual framework governing Jamake Highwater's vision of the world? By entering Highwater's world, I see a different way of relating to the earth - a relationship characterized by awe and respect rather than ownership and exploitation. In a film featuring Jamake Highwater, he talked about taking his mother to New York City for her first visit and he showed her all the usual landmarks including the famous Central Park. Central Park is like a little oasis in the center of Manhattan with all the huge skyscrapers and the hustle and bustle of the city surrounding it. When he asked his mother what her impressions were, she thought for a moment and then said, "I see they even put their trees on a reservation." In all the years that I lived in New York, I had never really thought of it that way.

But an authentic conversation requires more than entering into the world of the other for I could simply use that new understanding to exploit the other, or perhaps, more benignly, to simply bring the other within my own framework of understanding rather than expanding my understanding to include the other. I'd like to suggest that to enter into a true conversation, I must be willing to allow the understanding that I gain from that encounter to question my own conventional and habitual ways of seeing - to expand the horizon of my understanding by rendering aspects of my own world problematic as a result of that encounter.

In a very real sense a true conversation allows us to see ourselves for the first time. We are all born into a world that acculturates and socializes us into certain ways of seeing. Indeed, even the language we learn contains within it the structures and categories that give meaning to our experience. Our culture provides us with the lens - or the pair of glasses - that we use to make the world intelligible to us. But that same pair of glasses can also trap us from seeing the world in other ways. It becomes our frame of reference and begins to be taken for granted to the point that its control over our perceptions of the world is no longer seen. It becomes what we see with but cannot see through. In fact, it begins to be experienced as natural, as part of the natural scheme of things, rather than as a human and social construct. In an authentic conversation with the other, the hidden assumptions and cultural categories that have been largely taken for granted can suddenly be brought to the surface and revealed to our consciousness as only one of many possibilities. It can reveal ourselves to ourselves, but unfortunately, this self-revelation is not always comfortable as any proponent in a Socratic dialogue was soon to find out.

In fact, history has shown different responses that we make to conversations that begin to strip the fabric of the selves that we have created, that begin to question the certainties that we have lived by, that begin to make our conventional ways of seeing no longer tenable for us. One response is to go into denial - to deny the truths that are slowly coming to the surface of our consciousness - to deny that which makes us feel uncomfortable. Another response is to withdraw -- to retreat from the conversation completely. A third response, and one that unfortunately happens with too great a frequency, is to become defensive and to attack the other. But a fourth response is possible also, if we have the courage, if we have the concern, if we have the wisdom. There is the possibility for us and the other to reconstruct and reconstitute a new social reality which encompasses our new understanding and provides the conditions for a more ethical and humane existence. Indeed, the philosopher, John Dewey equated education itself with a continuous reconstruction and reorganization of our social experience - a reconstruction of the conditions of our lives.5

In many ways, the notion of a conversation can be a very powerful metaphor for the process of education itself. For education is an invitation into the conversation of life. It is something that cannot be merely received; it must be entered into; it must be engaged in; often it must be reclaimed, especially, those voices that have been neglected and silenced in the past. It is a conversation not merely about making a living, but a conversation about the kinds of lives that are worth living and the kinds of society that can make those lives possible.

Unfortunately, education can only invite us into the conversation; it cannot guarantee that we accept the invitation. Too often we can go through the motions of life without really engaging in it. We can easily begin to see our education, for example, as an accumulation of university credits without ever asking ourselves what we are becoming as result of our education - what we are allowing ourselves to be influenced by. Even in the darkest moments of our own history, too many people and too many institutions remained silent when they should not have. Even universities offered little moral resistance to the barbarism that engulfed much of our world in the last century. I remember a haunting passage in George Steiner's book. Language and Silence.6 Unlike writers like Matthew Arnold who could assert confidently that our education, especially our education in the literary and philosophical traditions, could humanize us, Steiner was less convinced as he recalled how easily people educated in what he called the "culture of traditional humanism" could read the poetry of Goethe and Rilke the night before they sent others to their deaths in gas chambers.

That was the conversation that Dr. King had with my generation as he struggled with the injustices and the inhumanity of his time and called upon us to face the moral blindness of our age and to fulfill this nation's dream of social justice. It left me with the questions that I shared with this new generation on that commencement day. I asked them to think about what our education demands of us? Is it enough to have some knowledge of society but not feel its injustices? To know some science but not care about the uses to which it is put? To become technically proficient and yet be blinded to the moral context in which our technical expertise will affect the lives of people? To understand something about economics but not care that huge numbers of our children are now living in poverty in this country? What is our responsibility in continuing the conversation? What is our responsibility in awakening others to these questions? What is our responsibility in making the institutions we enter more responsive to human needs? What is our responsibility in elevating the public debate in this country by raising the quality of its arguments and deepening an understanding of its moral significance?

I told my young audience that morning that it was their conversation now --- if they chose to enter into it -- if they chose to engage in it. I wished them well on their journey and on the choices they would make in their lives.

One of the unknown consequences of our words as teachers is to never really know whom we reach. I do know how I was reached that day in 1963 when I heard the words of Martin Luther King, Jr. at my own commencement. This journal and its blog are a testimony to that witness.

1. John Dewey, "The Future of Liberalism," in The Collected Works. Later Works. 1934, pp. 255-277.

2. Cora Diamond, "Losing Your Concepts," Ethics 98 (January 1988): 276.

3. Jamake Highwater, The Primal Mind: Vision and Reality in Indian America (New York: Harper and Row, 1981).

4. Ibid., p. 5.

5. John Dewey, Democracy and Education (New York: The Free Press, 1966).

6. George Steiner. Language and Silence: Essavs on LanguageLiterature and the Inhuman (New York: Atheneum, 1972).

Friday, December 23, 2022

ACLU's Win Against Florida's Stop W.O.K.E. Act: What the Judge's Order Could Mean for Challenges to Censorship Efforts Nationwide

Editor:  In our continuing effort to keep our readers informed, we are reprinting this article under the American Civil Liberties Union fair use policy.

Copyright [2022] American Civil Liberties Union.

Originally posted by the ACLU at


Lessons Learned from Our Classroom Censorship Win Against Florida’s Stop W.O.K.E. Act

Here’s what the judge’s order could mean for challenges to censorship efforts nationwide.


Leah Watson,

Senior Staff Attorney,

ACLU's Racial Justice Program

November 29, 2022


Earlier this month, a federal judge blocked Florida from enforcing the Stop Wrongs Against Our Kids Act (Stop W.O.K.E. Act) in the state’s colleges and universities. Florida is just one of over a dozen states across the country that have passed laws censoring discussions around race and gender in the classroom, and this is the first time a court has ruled that this type of classroom censorship law is unconstitutional. This preliminary victory could present an opportunity to bolster similar challenges to classroom censorship efforts nationwide.

The order came in a lawsuit we filed on behalf of seven instructors and one student in colleges and universities across Florida to challenge the Stop W.O.K.E. Act, which limits the ways concepts related to systemic racism and sex discrimination can be discussed in teaching or conducting training in workplaces or schools. The concepts were parroted from Executive Order 13950, issued by then President Trump and rescinded by President Biden, and have been incorporated in similar classroom censorship laws introduced and passed in other states.

We argued the law violated the First and Fourteenth Amendments because it restricts instructors from teaching and students from learning certain viewpoints, the law is unconstitutionally vague, and it intentionally discriminates against Black instructors and students. The order describes the law as “positively dystopian,” and makes the following key findings that could be leveraged to challenge similar classroom censorship legislation in other states:

1) Instruction in higher education is protected by the First Amendment and academic freedom.

In response to our lawsuit, Florida terrifyingly asserted that it had the absolute right to control what educators can teach because it is government speech, noting that university professors are public employees. This claim contradicts the longstanding recognition that academic freedom is a “special concern” of the First Amendment. In the university setting, this means the First Amendment protects universities’ and professors’ right to make teaching choices without government censorship targeting disfavored viewpoints. The state’s position that university instructors are “simply the state’s mouthpieces” could have dangerous consequences, including allowing the state to literally dictate lessons and have educators simply read from a script. The order held that educators’ First Amendment right to teach concepts prohibited by the Stop W.O.K.E. Act far outweighed the state’s interest in indoctrinating students to its preferred viewpoint.

2) University students have their own First Amendment right to receive information — including concepts related to racism and sexism prohibited by the Stop W.O.K.E. Act.

The order recognized that the First Amendment protects not only the right to speak, but also the right to receive information. In the higher education context, the court held that the scope of a student’s First Amendment right to receive information corresponds to the instructors’ First Amendment right to share.

3) Like the Stop W.O.K.E. Act, other classroom censorship laws are vulnerable to challenge as unconstitutional, viewpoint-based restrictions.

The Stop W.O.K.E. Act limited instruction to viewpoints that the legislature agreed with, even when those viewpoints contradict research, academic scholarship, and foundational understandings of academic disciplines. Based on their academic training and research, our professor plaintiffs teach that some people are disadvantaged in America, and particularly in the criminal legal system, due to their race; describe the existence of “white privilege” and its impact in society; and advocate for affirmative action to ensure campus diversity. The Stop W.O.K.E. Act forced our professor plaintiffs to choose between teaching these evidence-supported concepts, which are foundational in their field, or censoring their viewpoints to comply with the law. As Judge Mark Walker noted, “[t]he law officially bans professors from expressing disfavored viewpoints in university classrooms while permitting unfettered expression of the opposite viewpoints,” in contravention of the First Amendment.

4) The Stop W.O.K.E. Act was unconstitutionally vague on various grounds.

First, the eight concepts prohibited by the law are vague. The order found that some of the prohibited concepts were impossible to interpret within the context of university instruction because of its complicated wording or ambiguous meaning. For example, the law permits discussion of these concepts if presented in an objective manner and without endorsement. However, the state argued that any promotion of the prohibited concepts would violate the law, so the state’s interpretation of “objectivity” was ambiguous because it only permits educators to present the concepts in a negative light. The court noted that professors could not organize a debate about the merits of affirmative action because any speaker that argued in favor of affirmative action would violate the Stop W.O.K.E. Act. The court also recognized that the lack of explicit standards about “objectivity” would allow arbitrary, and potentially discriminatory, enforcement of the law.

5) The state’s attempts to justify the censorship as an antidiscrimination effort to reduce racism was a failed effort.

“Defendants try to dress up the State of Florida’s interest as a public employer and educator as prohibiting discrimination in university classrooms, but this does not give defendants a safe harbor in which to enforce viewpoint-based restrictions targeting protected speech,” wrote Judge Walker. Arguing that the Stop W.O.K.E. Act is an anti-discrimination law is a red herring. To be clear, education gag orders do not serve antidiscrimination purposes. They are thinly veiled speech restrictions without any attempt to limit discriminatory actions.

We are currently challenging classroom censorship laws in Florida, Oklahoma, and New Hampshire, and hope these findings will bolster these challenges and censorship efforts across the nation. We will not stop fighting for students’ and educators’ right to teach and learn free from state censorship and discrimination.

Saturday, October 29, 2022

Unbanning History: Georgia teen organizers fight back against school censorship

 Editor: Our new issue on “Teaching for Social Justice in a Highly Politicized Historical Moment” will soon be published online.  While we were working on this issue, we came across this article about some students in Georgia who are fighting censorship in their school districts and thought our readership would find it inspiring.  We want to thank the Southern Poverty Law Center for permission to reprint the article for our readers.


Unbanning History: Georgia teen organizers fight back against school censorship


Rhonda Sonnenberg

Senior Staff Writer

Southern Poverty Law Center

September 02, 2022


A world history class at a Georgia high school last year created a stinging yet motivating memory for Azaio Udoh.

When topics like European wars were discussed in class, “everything was free rein,” the 15-year-old sophomore recalled recently.

But when the topic turned to slavery, she said, “suddenly everything was off limits.” The mood turned tense as the students pressed the teacher for answers.

“He refused to describe the condition of a slave ship or show a picture of a slave ship,” Udoh said. “He changed the subject immediately when students asked what they wanted to know. The Black and Brown students said out loud that slavery wasn’t that long ago and that some of our ancestors were slaves, so it affected us personally.”


High school student Azaio Udoh

Udoh, whose parents are from Trinidad and Nigeria, had witnessed – and sometimes bore the brunt of – aggressive, racist comments and innuendo throughout her years in Atlanta’s Fulton County public schools. Now she felt hurt, angry and frustrated that repressive education policies had not only spread an uncomfortable atmosphere of self-censorship among teachers but kept students from learning the history they are entitled to receive.

“I’m not sure what I’m allowed to say. I don’t want to say something that will get me fired,” the teacher muttered loudly enough for Udoh to hear.

“He was also a Black man,” Udoh explained, “so there was disappointment for him and empathy that he couldn’t speak the truth.”

Since then, the censorship and intimidation of educators in Georgia have only intensified.

The Georgia General Assembly this year passed repressive new laws, including one (HB 1084) that prohibits the teaching of nine “divisive” topics involving race and racism. Another (HB 1178) gives parents the right to continuously review – and reject – teaching materials and to withdraw their children from classes. A third (SB 226), which takes effect in January, gives parents the right to file a formal complaint against teaching materials that are “harmful to minors.”

“Even beyond the troubling comparisons of this kind of censorship to history, the overall goal of conservatives is to undermine public education,” said Bacardi Jackson, interim deputy legal director for the Southern Poverty Law Center’s Children’s Rights Practice Group. “The politicians are pitting white people against people of color. Through racism, hate and homophobia, they are playing on people’s fears and pride – whatever makes people feel better about themselves. And they are using our children as political fodder.

“[School] libraries are being purged,” Jackson continued. “Kids can’t even find information in libraries. [Students] are getting harassed online. Educators who have spoken out are called ‘groomers.’ They are creating an unsafe environment, emboldening people who possibly pose a physical and emotional threat to others.”


‘Reclaiming power’

Udoh and other students are organizing to fight back against the assault on inclusive education, and no one should underestimate the resilience of emboldened student organizers in Georgia. They are media-savvy, politically astute and determined to win the battle with adults who seek to undermine their ability and right to receive an accurate, honest and high-quality education.

Today, Udoh is an anti-racist education organizer for the Georgia Youth Justice Coalition (GYJC), an Atlanta-based nonprofit created in 2021 and exclusively run by high school and college students. GYJC receives policy support from the SPLC.

On Aug. 15, just weeks after Udoh joined the organization, the school system in neighboring Forsyth County restored seven of eight booksit banned in January, due to local organizing efforts led by high school students.

Shivi Mehta, a 15-year-old sophomore, was one of the Forsyth County students who protested the book ban, facing off against groups like Concerned Parents of Forsyth County Georgia, Mama Bears of Forsyth County, and Truth in Education of Forsyth County.

“School board meetings are political battlegrounds,” said Mehta, the Georgia Youth Justice Coalition’s anti-racist project director. “I have been harassed by so-called Concerned Parents, both face-to-face at school board meetings and on social media.”

Between 2021 and the end of the legislative session in April, Mehta spoke at approximately ten school board meetings – against the abolition of diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) training, in support of COVID-19 health measures, and against book bans.

“I talked about the need for diverse literature so that students can see themselves in different forms of media, especially books,” Mehta said. “The books banned were books written by authors of color and by LGBTQ+ authors, and they featured similar characters.

“Initially, it seemed like the board didn’t care,” Mehta said. “I felt ignored. I felt like I was being a pain in the neck to [board members], but they did listen to us because they unbanned seven of the eight books. … There is never a reason for students to stay silent. There is always a reason for students to speak out against injustice.”

In the next legislative session, the students plan to share stories about how the book bans affect them and their education, Udoh said.

“Their stories will give voice to students who don’t know they have one. We are young people enacting change. We are reclaiming power from the older people with power because their decisions affect us.”


The legislative battle

The student organizers who are fighting for inclusive education are not without allies, including the SPLC, the SPLC Action Fund (thelobbying arm of the SPLC), the ACLU of Georgia and the Intercultural Development Research Association (IDRA) – a national education research and policy organization that promotes equity in education.

The groups lobbied against passage of the bills that sought to undermine inclusive education, particularly HB 1084, the “divisive concepts” law.

IDRA is collecting testimony from students and educators affected by HB 1084.

“The challenge now is to show the impact of this law,” Terrence Wilson, IDRA’s Atlanta-based regional policy and community engagement director, said.

“Ultimately, if we think about the purpose of education, it’s really to serve our students, to prepare them for their next phase of life. They have to continue to show that the current policy isn’t going to give them the education they need. We adult advocates have to work intergenerationally to give them the education they deserve.”

Wilson says that despite the censorship bills’ passage, he views the increased engagement of young activists at committee hearings and in private discussions with legislators as a big win.


Chilling effect

Brock Boone, SPLC senior staff attorney for children’s rights, says HB 1084 is so vague that “it’s impossible for teachers to know if they are violating the law or not.” As a result, he said, “teachers will self-censor their lessons and teaching materials, thereby depriving children of an accurate and truthful education.”

Teachers are, in fact, already experiencing that chilling effect, said Sarah-SoonLing Heng Blackburn, associate director of the SPLC’s Learning for Justice program.

“What is the teacher supposed to do if they are teaching Radical Reconstruction?” asks Blackburn.

“Black people had the right to vote, hold office, own property and vote, and then you had a backlash with the Plessy v. Ferguson ‘separate but equal’ decision where the Supreme Court did take away rights. Dobbs is another example of the Supreme Court taking away rights. If the student makes the point or asks a question about it – it’s complicated. … What if a student brings up Roe v. Wade?

“Good teaching would be asking the student what they think [about a complex topic], but teachers are afraid if the student responds. A kid has an opinion. Then another kid goes home and tells his parents what that student said – ‘that abortion should be legal.’ The parents [of the second student] are mad that the teacher let it come up in class.”


Intent is clear

Passage of the new laws capped several years of increasingly repressive local school board resolutions that banned so-called “critical race theory” (CRT) in Georgia counties, including Cobb and Cherokee.

These local moves were set against a nationwide war on public education that gained steam after Donald Trump was elected president in 2016 and issued an executive order on “combating race and sex stereotyping” in 2020. (President Joe Biden overturned the order in March 2021). Conservative lawmakers and parents began to demonize free and inclusive classroom speech, especially concerning race, gender identity and sexuality and an approach to education called social emotional learning (SEL).

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp signed the censorship laws on April 28.

Kemp chose to sign the bills in north-central Georgia’s Forsyth County, where 75% of residents are white. About 30 miles north of Atlanta, with a population of over 260,000, Forsyth is one of the fastest-growing counties in the U.S. Student organizer Shivi Mehta and her classmates are part of a growing body of Asian and Latinx families in Forsyth.

Forsyth County is also where, in 1912, white vigilantes drove the county’s entire Black population of about 1,100 out of the county in one of the Jim Crow era’s most heinous incidents of “racial cleansing” by white people. Blatant racism remains despite Metro Atlanta’s sprawl over the past 25 years into suburban, largely white counties.

“The intent underlying the law seems clear when Kemp goes out to Forsyth with its history of white supremacy and racial terror,” said Michael Tafelski, SPLC senior supervising attorney for children’s rights. “It was very symbolic.”

Aware that protesters would show up at the event, and that it would receive heavy media coverage, the SPLC held a virtual press conference that included, among others, the ACLU of Georgia, GYJC and IDRA.

“The intent of the press conference was to demonstrate the broad opposition to these censorship laws. And to encourage students, educators and the community to share their experiences on how the law is taking effect and impacting their classrooms,” Tafelksi said. “This will enable us to learn more about the implementation of these laws and the causal chilling effect.”

The SPLC is offering support to educators, students and parents in Georgia with guidance on their constitutional rights in the classroom. The SPLC has also established an email address – – to collect feedback on how the law interferes with their rights.


Truth, youth and power

Friends since fourth grade, Koan Roy-Meighoo, 18, and Julian Fortuna, 19, are opening a new front in the effort to promote inclusive, equitable education in their hometown of Decatur and beyond.

In 2021 they were high school seniors in Decatur, in DeKalb County just outside of Atlanta, when the school district was in the early stages of developing an equity program called JEDI (justice, equity, diversity and inclusion). Earlier that year, Roy-Meighoo co-founded a district-wide student effort for equity and social justice at school.

Motivated by his and Fortuna’s ideas of what a true JEDI curriculum would look like, Roy-Meighoo immediately wrote a prospectus outlining their full vision.

“We knew there was a problem with Georgia’s standard curriculum, which left many histories out,” Roy-Meighoo said. “However, the flaws weren’t just in curricula. Students of color face racism every day. Around the time we began our efforts, there had been multiple incidents and videos threatening communities of color with violence. We were in the midst of the pandemic and the [wake of] George Floyd’s murder. … a racial reckoning had begun, and we saw an opportunity for the more privileged members of our community to understand what their marginalized peers had faced for years. Our Decatur school district had finally realized that institutional racism was real and change was needed.

The two students called their project JADE, a purposeful spin on JEDI with the “A” standing for “action.” From inception the two have worked closely with City Schools of Decatur district equity offices to refine the program. They expect the pilot to launch in Decatur in 2023.

The program will start with a core curriculum for sixth, seventh and eighth graders that can be implemented nationwide but is adaptable to each local school district’s needs. The program will not be implemented during classroom hours but during a daily advisement class when students typically have free time. JADE will feature vigorous teacher training with strong support from communities and school districts.

“For me, it is about the underlying component of empathy and humanity,” said Roy-Meighoo, now an Emory University philosophy major whose family is from Trinidad and India.

“When students know the truth, they will be able to empathize and live better with each other. I experienced firsthand the divisions promoted by the current curriculum in Georgia. I’ve seen white students turn to look at students of color anytime there is a discussion about race, slavery or civil rights. White kids learn about their historic figures, but it took me until 11th grade to learn anything about an Indian or Trinidadian,” when he learned about Nobel Prize-winning poet Derek Walcott.

This October, Roy-Meighoo and Fortuna will hold an educator organizing summit that will offer resources for antiracist teaching. It will include a teach-in led by local educator-organizers and students like Roy-Meighoo and Udoh and feature both LFJ materials and JADE curriculum concepts.

“This kind of summit has very little precedent,” Roy-Meighoo said. “We are reacting in real time to everything that is happening in the era of classroom censorship. Teachers want to know how to navigate teaching the truth and keeping their jobs. On top of this, the situation is changing constantly. We don’t know what classrooms will be able to teach in a year. [The summit] won’t be an evaluation in the aftermath of censorship and institutional racism.

“We are taking affirmative steps forward in the middle of this struggle – together, students and teachers can advance truth, empathy and racial justice in the classroom even in the face of political censorship.”

Tuesday, September 6, 2022

IN MEMORIAM: Nel Noddings

We at the Journal of Educational Controversy are saddened to announce the passing of philosopher, Nel Noddings.  The announcement below from the Philosophy of Education Society reflects on her legacy.  

   PES Honors Nel Noddings’ Legacy 

Teacher. Philosopher. Public Intellectual. Mentor. Friend.

When Professor Nel Noddings died on August 25, 2022, the Philosophy of Education Society (PES) not only lost a luminary in our field, but also a dear and cherished colleague, friend, and mentor. A first generation college student, Professor Noddings was a champion for students who may not always feel that education systems were structured for them. Her philosophy of education colleagues will miss her presence, her friendship, her wit, her brilliance, and her leadership.

Nel Noddings was the Emerita Lee L. Jacks Professor of Education at Stanford University. Her scholarship conceptualizing and applying an ethic of care stands as a landmark contribution to the field, shaping conversations in philosophy of education, ethics, moral philosophy and feminist theory. Her work also shaped conversations and practices in schools, lifting up the moral and ethical dimensions of teachers’ work. Nel’s work was expansive; her books included Caring: A Feminist Approach to Ethics and Moral Education (1984), The Challenge to Care in Schools (1992) and Starting at Home: Caring and Social Policy (2002), among many others.

Nel’s leadership was felt not only at Stanford, where she served as an Associate Dean and Acting Dean of the School of Education, but also more broadly in the American Association for Educational Research, where she spearheaded writing ethical guidelines for the field of educational research as a whole, as President of the National Academy of Education and the John Dewey Society, and in PES, where she served as president in 1991-1992. Nel was a thoughtful and prolific scholar who valued action. As one of her daughters wrote: “Her family welcomes you to honor her legacy with action. Don’t send flowers; read her work and talk with the people you care about.” Indeed. Read her amazing boundary-crossing work. Make sure your students read it too; this would honor Nel’s memory, as she was a skilled teacher and mentor. 

Thursday, June 23, 2022

New Call for Reviewers

 The Journal of Educational Controversy is expanding its pool of reviewers. If you are interested in being considered as a reviewer, e-mail us a letter of interest with a list of areas of expertise and interest along with a vita.

E-mail us at:

Please put "potential reviewer" in the subject area.

Sunday, May 15, 2022


We were saddened to hear of the death of Hoang Vu Tran.  The Journal of Educational Controversy published an article by Professor Tran in our Volume 14 issue on the theme, "The Ethics of Memory: What Does It Mean to Apologize for Historical Wrongs."   The very timely article was entitled, "Anti-Affirmative Action and Historical Whitewashing: To Never Apologize While Committing New Racial Sins," an issue that is currently before the U.S. Supreme Court.  Hoang V. Tran was a young assistant professor at Florida Atlantic University. He died from drowning in a lake while trying to save his friends from a strong current.  He had a three year old daughter and another child who was not born yet. Such a tragic loss.  We are honored to have published what was probably his final manuscript.

Saturday, April 9, 2022

Books for Young People on Ukraine


 Editor:  Our Western Washington University librarian has compiled this list of classroom book suggestions to help young people understand and process the current events in Ukraine.  A special thank you to Sylvia Gabrielle Tag, WWU Librarian & Associate Professor, for her contribution to our understanding. 


Ukraine: An Annotated Bibliography for Educators


The war in Ukraine is devasting on so many levels. Considering the daily news images, how can educators help young people understand and process these current events? “We’d like to warn you that the following images are disturbing…” How do we give a sense of a people’s humanity? One way is to tell their stories. We think we can shelter young people from pain and suffering but children are biologically predisposed to soak up their surroundings. Even if the TV and radio are turned off, kids sense anxiety and frustration in caretakers. For the Littles, stories can provide comfort. For older children, who hear about events at school or from friends, it is essential to provide facts along with compassion. Teenagers need action, inspiration and understanding that honor the complexities of world politics. Consider this selected list as a starting point. Young people are counting on us. 


The Experience of War

Start here with one outstanding book and several websites.


Romanyshyn, Romana, Lesiv, Andriĭ, and Lushchevska, Oksana. How War Changed Rondo. Enchanted Lion, 2021.

Provocative for all ages, this powerful book uses metaphor and allegory to describe the experience of war. Originally published in 2015 under the title Viĭna, shcho zminyla Rondo by Vydavnytstvo Staroho Leva (The Old Lion Publishing House), Lviv, Ukraine.
Danko, Zirka, and Fabian live peacefully in the small town of Rondo, a magical and joyful place… until the fateful day that War arrives. They try to talk to it and fight it, but nothing seems to stop the spread of War's destruction and darkness. Harnessing the power of light, community, and song, Danko, Zirka, and Fabian, along with all their neighbors, must rally together to lead Rondo to victory. How War Changed Rondo reflects the darkness and pain that conflict bring and the wounds that linger long after it's over. This picture book serves as a tribute to peace, resistance, and hope, and was written and illustrated by Romana Romanyshyn and Andriy Lesiv, a husband-and-wife duo from Ukraine. 


Winter Light Books is an independent book publisher specializing in children’s stories, primarily from traditional Ukrainian Sources.


The International Board on Books for Young People (IBBY) is a non-profit organization which represents an international network of people from all over the world who are committed to bringing books and children together in order to promote international understanding through children's books


Hello, Dear Enemy : Picture Books for Peace is a traveling exhibit from the International Youth Library in Munich, Germany. The exhibit is divided into four themes: Experiences of War, Destruction, and Displacement; Power Struggles and the Origin and Escalation of Violence; Prejudice, Ostracism, and Imagined Enemies; Utopias of Peace and Anti-War Books. List of exhibit books here:


Not If But When: Books for Young People About Death and Loss is a website of book titles. The impacts of war and displacement are not unique to Ukraine. Children and teens facing the loss of friends and family, or their own mortality, need help navigating the emotional, physical, and practical upheavals and restorations. Books offer opportunities to ask questions, wonder, and simply acknowledge the realities of their circumstances.




Nonfiction accounts and memoirs.


Rodger, Ellen. A refugee's journey from Ukraine. Crabtree Publishing Company, 2018.

Published after the annexation of Crimea – but still painfully relevant.
Miron's life in Ukraine is happy until a war breaks out in his city, Donetsk. Surrounded by political instability and increasing violence, Miron and his family decide to flee to find safety in a more stable part of Ukraine. But life as an internally displaced person is not stable. He and his family aren't sure if true safety lies ahead for them. Interspersed with facts about Ukraine and its people, this narrative tells a story common to many refugees fleeing the country. Readers will learn about the conflict there and how they can help refugees in their communities and around the world who are struggling to find permanent homes.


Radzilowski, John. Ukrainian Americans. Chelsea House, 2007.

Discusses Ukrainian Americans, their history, culture, traditions, accomplishments and contributions to American society. Chapters include: The Ukrainians in North America -- Ukraine: land of promise and tragedy -- Coming to North America -- Building a new world -- Making a new home -- Bringing Ukrainian traditions to North America -- The newest Ukrainians in North America -- Chronology -- Timeline.


Grimberg, Tina. Out of Line: Growing up Soviet. Tundra Books, 2007.

A rabbi remembers her life as a child in Kiev, Ukraine, where her family lived under Soviet rule until they moved to the United States when she was fifteen.



Background for Educators

In addition to United States Federal Government websites the outstanding Opposing Viewpoints Series, published by Greenhaven, explores various aspects of controversial issues.


United States Department of State: Ukraine.

Updates, fact sheets, policy, and current news.


Ruth, Michael. Ukraine. Greenhaven Press, 2016.

This book is part of the excellent Opposing Viewpoints series. Published after the annexation of Crimea, many of the same issues are relevant for the current invasion.
Chapter include: How should the United States manage the Ukraine Conflict? The United States should intervene militarily in the Ukraine Conflict / Jorge Benitez ; The United States should stay out of the Ukraine Conflict / Chris Freind ; If U.S. arms Ukraine, Russia could arm Iran / Josh Cohen ; The United States should arm Ukraine / Luke Coffey and Nile Gardiner ; The United States should continue imposing sanctions on Russia / David J. Kramer ; The United States must support the Minsk Agreement for Ukrainian peace / Victoria Nuland ; Ukraine's Minsk Agreement will not bring peace / Alexander Mercouris -- Should the West intervene in Ukraine? The West should help Ukraine / Ian Kearns, Steve Andreasen, and Des Browne ; Europe should integrate Ukraine / Nicolai Petro ; Europe should not integrate Ukraine / Alexander Donetsky ; NATO should not become involved in Ukraine / Seumas Milne ; NATO should confront Russia over Ukraine / Kurt Volker and Erik Brattberg -- What should be Russia's place in Ukraine? The West is responsible for provoking Russia over Ukraine / Tim Black ; The West has a choice : abandon Ukraine or punish Russia? It should choose the latter / Alex Massie ; The Russian military should fully invade Ukraine / Brad Cabana ; Crimea belongs to Russia / Dmitry Tamoikin ; Crimea belongs to Ukraine / Yulia Tymoshenko -- How should Ukraine plan its future? Ukraine must hold on to its contested regions / William Risch ; Ukraine should give up its contested regions / Alexander J. Motyl ; Ukraine must prosecute those committing war crimes / Amnesty International ; Ukrainian military as a whole is responsible for war crimes / David Garrett ; Why Ukraine shouldn't be offered NATO membership / Andrei Tsygankov ; Taking IMF money would damage Ukraine's economy / Jeffrey Sommers and Michael Hudson, as told to Jessica Desvarieux.




Nothing reveals the intricacies of a culture like their folktales.


Tetro, Maria Zemko and Joseph A. Tetro. Secret of the Glass Mountain and Other Folktales from Ukraine. Winter Light Books, 2014.

A collection of Ukrainian folk tales featuring enchanting stories and memorable characters, including a determined prince and beautiful princess, a wise ant and a terrifying dragon, a depressed rabbit, a strange horse, some troubled mice, a very lazy man, and a green dwarf named Oh! Original illustrations drawn by artists in Ukraine. 


Tetro, Maria Zemko and Joseph A. Tetro. How the Animals Built their House and Other Stories. Winter Light Books, 2008. 

Three Ukrainian folk tales that describe the troubles one month experiences when he tries to visit another; the reliance of family and friends when a reluctant vegetable requires help from everyone at harvest time, and how a group of animals discovers that a long trip can end much closer to home than anyone expected. Original illustrations drawn by artists in Ukraine. 


Tetro, Maria Zemko and Joseph A. Tetro. The Fox Judge and Other Tales. Winter Light Books, 2007.

Three Ukrainian folk tales depict a special hen that lays a golden egg, a sly fox who negotiates an argument between two cats trying to divide a wedge of cheese, and three butterflies of different colors who stay together to help each other through a sudden rainstorm.


The Mitten – Did you know that this familiar folktale originated in Ukraine?

Aylesworth, Jim., and McClintock, Barbara. The Mitten. Scholastic Press, 2009.

A retelling of the traditional tale of how a boy's lost mitten becomes a refuge from the cold for an increasing number of animals.


Brett, Jan. The Mitten: A Ukrainian Folktale. Putnam, 1989.

Several animals sleep snugly in Nicki's lost mitten until the bear sneezes.


Tresselt, Alvin. The Mitten. Lothrop, Lee & Shepard, 1964.

This retold version by Alvin Tresselt and illustrated by Yaroslava is adapted from the version by E. Rachev. A tale about a lost mitten which becomes the shelter for many forest creatures.


Kimmel, Eric A., and Krenina, Katya. The Birds' Gift: A Ukrainian Easter Story. Holiday House, 1999.

Villagers take in a flock of golden birds nearly frozen by an early snow and are rewarded with beautifully decorated eggs the next spring.


Bilenko, Anatole, et al. Ukrainian Folk Tales. Dnipro Publishers, 1974.

Pan Kotsky the puss-o-cat -- Foxy-loxy and palsy-wolfie -- The goat and the ram -- Kolobok the Johnnycake -- Kotihoroshko Rollipea -- Oh -- The wheat-ear -- The magic egg -- Ilya Muromets and nightingale the robber -- The little shepherd -- Boris son o'three -- The golden slipper -- The poor man and the raven czar -- The poor man and his sons -- The poor lad and the rich merchant Marko -- Danilo who had no luck -- A tale about the little Linden tree and the greedy old woman -- A tale about the stolen Postoli and the boiled eggs -- Misery -- The farm.



Informational Country Books

There are a lot of books about Ukraine on sites like Amazon. For older youth, the best sources for country information will be government websites.


United States Department of State: Ukraine.

Updates, fact sheets, policy, and current news.


Bassis, Volodymyr, et al. Ukraine. Cavendish Square, 2018.

Ukraine is a country with a vibrant and at times troubling past. This book explores the origins of Ukraine, its triumphs and struggles, and examines what it's like to live there today. From its geography to its economy, its language to its festivals, this book gives a current and comprehensive overview of Ukraine.


Murray, Julie. Ukraine. Big Buddy Books, 2018.

Welcome to Ukraine - home of vast steppes, deep ports, and beautiful architecture. Maps, a timeline with photos, and fun facts complement the text.


Zuehlke, Jeffrey. Ukraine in Pictures. Lerner, 2006.
Reveals the history and government, economy, people, geography, and cultural life of the Ukraine. Chapters include: The land -- History and government -- The people -- Cultural life -- The economy.


Zemliansky, Pavel. Ukraine. Gareth Stevens Publisher, 2002.

Presents information on the geography, history, government, economy, people, social life and customs, arts, contemporary issues, and relations with North America of Ukraine, a country in Eastern Europe that regained its independence from the Soviet Union in 1991.



Everyday Life – Science, Art, Food & Holidays


Romanyshyn, Romana, et al. Sound : Shhh ... Bang ... Pop ... Boom! Chronicle Books, 2020.

This is an award-winning book on the phenomenon of sound with a philosophic reflection on its nature that will appeal to inquisitive children looking to learn more about science and nature. A stunning sequence of rich infographics provoke the reader to listen ... learn ... and think. Whether it's hearing noise, music, speech ... or silence, no one will come away from these pages without experiencing sound with new ears and a fresh understanding. Stunning visual sophistication and compelling infographics will appeal to adults as well as children. A perfect book for educators to share with children interested in STEM topics. The husband and wife team Romana Romanyshyn and Andriy Lesiv, share an art studio in Lviv, Ukraine.


Olia, Hercules. Summer Kitchens: Recipes and Reminiscences from Every Corner of Ukraine. Weldon Owen, 2020.

An exploration into the culinary identity of eastern Europe through stunning food and travel photography, interspersed with stories and memories of tiny buildings called summer kitchens - small structures alongside the main house where people cook and preserve summer fruits and vegetables for the winter months. The author illustrates how the region’s cuisine varies as much as the landscapes, climate, and produce through her travels to the Carpathians, the Black Sea, the shores of the Danube and Dnieper, and her native land.


Hughes, Ellen. Christmas in Ukraine. World Book, 1997.

Do not be fooled by the title! This book is loaded with pictures, recipes, songs, and crafts for anytime of year.  Chapters include: The Ukrainian People -- The Days Before Christmas -- Sviata Vecheria and Rizdvo -- Generous Eve -- Songs of the Season -- Ukrainian Crafts -- Ukrainian Carols -- Ukrainian Recipes.


Touba, Jacquiline. Ukraine: Sasha Kotyenko’s Painting “Embroidery Time.” Powerkids Press, 1997.

The young Ukrainian artist, Sasha Kotyenko, discusses her culture and traditions, and describes a painting she made of herself and her sisters embroidering. Chapters include: My city -- My country -- My home -- My painting -- Making cloth -- Embroidering our clothes -- Women's clothing -- Our house -- Traditions -- A country to be proud of.





Wolny, Philip. Holodomor : The Ukrainian Famine-Genocide. Rosen YA, 2018.

One of the lesser-known historical crimes that wiped out millions of people was Holodomor (loosely translated from Ukrainian as "death by hunger"), the famine and genocide that occurred during Soviet rule between 1932 and 1933. This book relates the shocking story of how a natural disaster was weaponized by the Soviet Union under the rule of Joseph Stalin to punish a whole people. Evocative photographs with compelling background and analysis give readers the story of a tragic chapter of European history in the twentieth century, while tying the event to our all-too-relevant modern context.


Taylor, Peter Lane., and Nicola, Christos. The Secret of Priest's Grotto: A Holocaust Survival Story. Kar-Ben Pub., 2007.

Two explorers survey caves in the Western Ukraine and relate the story of how an extended Jewish family, fleeing persecution by the Nazis, lived for two years in a large cave, Popowa Yama, and survived the war.


McQuerry, Maureen. Nuclear Legacy: Students of Two Atomic Cities. Battelle Press, 2000.

Students from Slavutych, Ukraine, and Richland, Washington, describe the effects of growing up in communities purposely developed in secrecy and isolation because of their nuclear-based industry and discuss their future in these towns as demand for nuclear energy declines.


Toll, Nelly S. Behind the Secret Window: A Memoir of a Hidden Childhood During World War Two. Dial Books, 1993.

The author recalls her experiences when she and her mother were hidden from the Nazis by a Gentile couple in Lwów, Poland, during World War II.