Maya Brodziak Argues Case against Arkansas LEARNS Act

Maya Brodziak (’16), Counsel for the Educational Opportunities Project at Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, presented arguments in Little Rock federal court in a lawsuit, co-counseled by current Skadden Fellow Zakiya Lewis (’23), challenging the Arkansas LEARNS Act’s ban on critical race theory and “indoctrination” (“Judge Hears Arguments in Lawsuit over LEARNS Ban on ‘Indoctrination,’ ‘Critical Race Theory,’Arkansas Times, Apr. 30). “Ordinarily, states have wide discretion in governing curriculum in K-12 schools,” Maya said. “But that discretion is not without limits.” She noted that Section 16 of LEARNS “was written in such a vague, reckless way that even the [Arkansas] Secretary of Education cannot figure out what it means and how it has to be enforced.” Teachers “are wondering whether the point of the law is just to intimidate them into silence on topics the state doesn’t agree with,” she said. “Somewhat ironically, Section 16 is aptly named ‘indoctrination’ as it creates a pathway for the state to impose its own preferred ideas and information and exclude those who disagree.”