Lazenby: SC Excels In Civil Rights Education

PALMETTO STATE SCHOOLS EARN PRAISE IN REPORT By Amy Lazenby || Fifty years after the Civil Rights Act was passed by the United States Congress and signed in to law by President Lyndon Johnson, most states are failing to adequately teach public school students about the civil rights movement in…


By Amy Lazenby || Fifty years after the Civil Rights Act was passed by the United States Congress and signed in to law by President Lyndon Johnson, most states are failing to adequately teach public school students about the civil rights movement in America – but that’s not the case in South Carolina.

report commissioned by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) in 2011 and a follow-up report released just last week detail specific coverage of the movement in classrooms around the country. According to the SPLC, educational “standards and curriculum resources related to the study of the modern civil rights movement in all 50 states and the District of Columbia were compared to a body of knowledge that reflects what civil rights historians and educators consider core information about the civil rights movement. The 2014 study was also expanded to include a review of the resources and materials that states offer to teachers.”

A majority of states were found to be deficient in their schools’ treatment of a critical era in American history – and a struggle that continues today. Twenty states received a grade of “F” and fourteen received a grade of “D” in the most recent study. It is difficult if not impossible to have an informed national discourse on race, rights, and equality when students are not being taught basic facts about our country’s history of denying equal rights and access to people of color, how far we have come as a nation, and how much further we have to go.

Three southern states – South Carolina, Louisiana, and Georgia – were the only states to receive “A” grades in the report, with the Palmetto State ranking first in the nation in helping students gain a comprehensive understanding of the civil rights movement. While that’s certainly good news for those states and students – and especially South Carolina – these are not lessons that need to be learned in only one region of the country.

Additionally, the study found that states with smaller African-American populations gave less attention to the topic of civil rights in their curricula. These are not lessons that are of significance to only one group of people. All students, regardless of race, should be given comprehensive information about the civil rights era and its significance in a national conversation that is ongoing.

South Carolina should be lauded for implementing standards that ensure young people are being taught a comprehensive body of knowledge about this vital piece of our cultural fabric. The topic of civil rights is one that will affect our legislation and our lives for years to come. In this, other states should follow the Palmetto State’s lead.

(h/t to FITS reader and commenter @tom_stickler for bringing this report to my attention).


Amy Lazenby is the Associate Opinion Editor for FITSNews. Contact her at and follow her on Twitter @Mrs_Laz.

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jimlewisowb April 7, 2014 at 7:05 pm

South Carolina is first in something it preaches but doesn’t practice

What a fucking irony

Richard Gozyna April 7, 2014 at 7:58 pm

If SC is first in teaching a class, but last in overall education, is SC really first? Does that mean SC is the best of the worst?

DB Cooper April 7, 2014 at 8:14 pm

Richard, agreed, and you’re making my point. If you waste the time of students by teaching them nonsensical subjects – such as civil rights ed – than sure, expect them to be poor achievers on the national and international educational stage.

Why Do the Heathen Rage? April 7, 2014 at 8:30 pm

Ah get of it Jimbo!

We all know your “point! “

DB Cooper April 7, 2014 at 7:59 pm

Such a stupid accomplishment. Being number one in this will not lead to one new job as the rest of the world doesn’t give a flying f@ck about it. Instead of this nonsense, how about we South Carolinians strive to be number one in things that matter… sciences, math, engineering, medicine, mastering foreign languages, etc.

Centrist View April 7, 2014 at 8:10 pm

“Those that fail to learn from history, are doomed to repeat it.”

Winston Churchill

DB Cooper April 7, 2014 at 8:20 pm

Whatever.. and “a mind is a terrible thing to waste” (on stupid government-mandated white guilt training). And yep, the rest of the world – Korea, Japan, China, Denmark, Finland, etc. – don’t have to focus on this BS; thus, their kids get to go straight to the valuable stuff they’ll need to thrive… sciences, math, engineering, medicine, mastering foreign languages, etc.

Why Do the Heathen Rage? April 7, 2014 at 8:27 pm

Hey Gomer why you wasting time here?Why not “master a foreign language?

HD April 8, 2014 at 8:43 am

Centrist – Ever heard of George Santayana?

“Those who are unsure of the correct source of a pithy quote will invariably attribute it to Churchill.”


Centrist View April 8, 2014 at 10:41 am

HD – Ever heard of Edward Burke?

Edmund Burke
(1729-1797) said “Those who don’t know history are destined to repeat it.” George Santayana (1863-1952) said “Those who
cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” The full quote from The Life of Reason (1905-1906) by George Santayana is as follows: “Progress, far from consisting
in change, depends on retentiveness. When change is
absolute there remains no being to improve and no direction is set for possible improvement: and when experience is not retained, as among savages, infancy is perpetual.
Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” (Many other people have repeated this, or paraphrased it, and the original quote is often misattributed repeated this, or paraphrased it, and the original quote is often misattributed to Winston Churchill, but the quotation is unable to be found in his written work.)
I remembered the quote but not the source. I browsed around, and found the paraphrased and apparently misattributed
Churchill citation. I don’t feel so bad. Google indicates that 1,000’s have made the same mistake.
Google search results for:


Edmund Burke “Those who don’t know history are destined to repeat it.”
About 68,400 results (0.45 seconds)
George Santayana “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”
About 999,000 results (0.58 seconds)
Winston Churchill “Those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it”.
About 46,800 results (0.54 seconds)

Why Do the Heathen Rage? April 7, 2014 at 8:25 pm

Science?Hahaha.This is SC Jethro.I mean didnt you know the world was created spontaneously 6000 years ago?And every zoologist, biologist, and geologist in the whole damn world is a damn liar?

Slartibartfast April 7, 2014 at 11:03 pm

Who’s the Jethro? Mr. Heathen-Rage, you know nothing about the people who live here. If you live here, please move a mirror into your toilet, so that you can be enlightened by your experience. It will be much like your opinions.

Why Do the Heathen Rage? April 8, 2014 at 8:15 am

Ah pipe down native South Carolinian or whatever the Hell you are.Put on some shoes Bart and read to me from the Consitution .Stop at the Free Speech part.Contempt from dumb dumbs like you is what I thrive on.Put on some shoes and go out and play and keep repeating,”Dinosaurs werent real,Dinosaurs werent real…”

Original Good Old Boy April 8, 2014 at 12:59 pm

What the hell does free speech have to do with this conversation, Mr Constitutional scholar?

Slartibartfast April 10, 2014 at 12:32 am

You really are a dunce, aren’t you! Why in God’s name would I say that Dinosaurs are not real? Now, they haven’t been really big for about 65,000,000 years – but the birds survive – in fact, there is a big fight going on to rename birds “saurian” rather than “aves.” Like I said – you don’t know anything about the people in this state. I believe I can make a pretty good argument that you are a bigot, Spot.

euwe max April 7, 2014 at 8:26 pm

Nothing like racism to teach you civil rights.

GrandTango April 8, 2014 at 6:16 am

Is that why you liberals are bathed in ’em….????

Tidy Bowl Man April 8, 2014 at 10:44 am

Sorry to get off topic, but I think Tango is that guy who used to shit in school’s urinal.

unclewillie1 April 8, 2014 at 1:23 pm

… and thought it was witty- kind of like his posts here.

euwe max April 8, 2014 at 2:00 pm

I think liberals are bathed in civil rights by God, DT.. where do *you* think civil rights come from?

Clarendonian April 7, 2014 at 9:11 pm

I don’t think it a coincidence that SC would hold such a place. When one thinks of seminal events of the civil rights movement one must think of Brown vs. Board of Education. When one thinks of Brown, one must recall Briggs vs. Elliot filed in SC on behalf of Harry and Eliza Briggs of Summerton School District, now Clarendon District One of Clarendon County. It was the first of several suits later rolled into Brown.

The Briggs’, Mathew Perry, Joseph Delaine, and yes, Modjeska Simkins, were all instrumental in furthering the case that ultimately was handed to Thurgood Marshall for his advocacy on behalf of Blacks in all of the US.

In my life I have had the distinct pleasure of knowing the descendents of both the Briggs family, the Elliot family, and the Delaines as well as Mathew Perry, personally.

There are many things SC may apologize for, but a knowledge of its role in both Black persecution, yet also Black uplifting is not one of them.

Slartibartfast April 7, 2014 at 10:57 pm

Excellently said. SC has always been friendly to almost everyone. Now we are learning to accept everyone. No, we are not perfect. But we are getting better, every day.

Mike at the Beach April 8, 2014 at 12:05 am

Do just a tad of research on the SPLC and you’ll find that they are just about as far-left kooky on most topics as the far-right kookies are on theirs. I would bet that most folks here don’t really care what they have to say about the “quality” of any aspect of our public education. I also find it telling that we quickly moved from a 52% rating in the 2011 report to a 97% rating in the current (2014) report. In the social science / statistical analysis world, that usually denotes changes in metrics (to which SPLC admits in the report) and/or easily manipulated criteria. I’m betting that this was low hanging fruit for resource-strapped SC public educators, and represented a bit of both. I don’t need the ACLU to teach me about the “drug war,” nor do I need the SPLC to teach me about civil rights (or SC’s approach to teaching the topic). Call me when some of the more meaningful metrics (graduation rates, policy rankings, academic testing, etc.) start making A’s.

BrigidBernadette April 8, 2014 at 9:31 am

And yet it is the far left that have been the most vociferous critics of the SPLC, exposing them and their con. It is the useful gullible idiots that give them credence.

Mike at the Beach April 8, 2014 at 5:25 pm

Ah, good catch! The SPLC clowns have caught a little grief from the left, but I definitely wouldn’t agree with the characterization that libs have been their “most vociferous critics.” Their ridiculous hyperbole attendant to labeling “hate groups” sends Civil War reenactment-types into orbit!

GrandTango April 8, 2014 at 6:13 am

SC First: in Civil Rights Education
SC Last: In actual academic achievement
And Lizenby’s bragging:

LMAO: Wonder how much Lizenby’s lack of math ability and skills of deduction bring down Georgia’s test scores, and how much ours increased when she left here?

And when you’re using SPLC as a source, you’re out there w/ the Kooks like Dennis Kucinich, Sheila Jackson Lee and AlGore. See any UFOs lately???

PS: Isn’t the Racist Rev. Jeremiah Wright on the Board of the SPLC???…Hahahahahaha…

BrigidBernadette April 8, 2014 at 8:57 am

Next you need to research the SPLC and the fraud they have perpetrated for decades, across the political spectrum from left to right they are known as frauds and conmen. To everyone but Lazenby. Easily accessible with a simple internet search, even his divorce papers are online, his spousal abuse, late term abortion forced on his girlfriend, hitting on his stepdaughter. They raise millions off the backs of real civil rights cases, and then sit on the money, growing one of the largest non-profit cash piles in the nation in the hundreds of millions which they wisely keep in an account in the Cayman Islands, while Morris Dees lives like a king, getting his house in Architectural Digest. The racism in their own workplace which has been complained about for years now–they simply don’t hire blacks likely in fear of what they would learn about the organization. The fact that none of the money they raise gets spent on Southern Poverty. Then hopefully you won’t make the bald mistake of treating them with anything but contempt. The fact that you don’t know this is cause to dismiss this entire article. Here’s a piece with references to other sources, and I also recommend Alexander Cockburn’s work on exposing them:

It would enhance your credibility if you didn’t use them as a source for anything.

BrigidBernadette April 8, 2014 at 9:02 am Reply
Mike at the Beach April 9, 2014 at 5:35 pm

Stop…stop…STOP! Facts confuse ideologues. No serious or reputable group considers the SPLC as a credible or objective source of policy information. Law enforcement uses them only for tactical intelligence (on topics like neo-nazis and the sovereign citizen movement), but ditched them on policy issues long ago. It was heartening when the USG finally caught up. Lazenby will spout some ACLU and SPLC junk in a skinny minute, however. I’m waiting on her Amnesty International report on the state of SC prisons (as viewed from her Georgia kitchen table)…

BrigidBernadette April 8, 2014 at 9:42 am

Then there is the little matter of the FBI and the DOJ finally cutting ties with the SPLC who had acted as consultants to the FBI and the U.S. Military, which was reported the last week of March 2014, fresh news. Don’t forget the terrorist who was using their Hate Groups list when he went on a murderous rampage at the Family Research Council.

Nölff April 8, 2014 at 11:38 am

Glad to see you back, Amy.

Sidney Parks April 8, 2014 at 2:01 pm

Why do people still cite the SPLC as a legitimate information source? One of many exposes:

Cooter April 8, 2014 at 8:38 pm

It kinda makes sense. With so many blacks in the state, we would know about negro rights.


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