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Lawsuit filed against LEARNS Act claims it’s unconstitutional

 10:12 PM CDT March 25, 2024

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — Attorney Mike Laux has now filed a lawsuit against Governor Sarah Huckabee Sanders and Education Secretary Jacob Oliva.

The lawsuit claims section 16 of LEARNS, which bans the “indoctrination” of students, is unconstitutional, and that it infringes on the First and Fourteenth Amendments rights.

“They are not just trying to erase Civil Rights history [and] African American history. They are trying to erase the state’s history,” said Mike Laux in a press conference held on Monday afternoon.

At the center of the lawsuit is a Central High School teacher and her students.

Ruthie Walls has received pushback from the state over her teaching of AP African American Studies. The state has said the course could be indoctrinating kids with Critical Race Theory.

“Initially I was shocked, but I turned around and I quickly gathered my thoughts and I went back to my room to start preparing,” said Walls. “I knew I had 100 students showing up, and regardless of what the state did, those students were coming Monday and they deserve an education.”

The African American Studies course is still taught at Central High School and at five other schools in the state— but only as a local elective course.

However, the state does not cover the cost for students to take the AP test.

One of her students, Sadie Bell Reynolds, is also included in the lawsuit.

“I have never felt shamed in Ms. Walls’ classroom for learning about another’s perspective. It’s just what has happened in our history,” said Reynolds.

Governor Sanders responded to the lawsuit in a statement that said:

“In the state of Arkansas, we will not indoctrinate our kids and teach them to hate America or each other. It’s sad the radical left continues to lie and play political games with our kids’ futures.”

For a link to view the full lawsuit that was filed, please click here.