Indiana’s house bill 1134 under fire

Taylor Staples

House Bill 1134, authored by rep. Anthony Cook, co-authored by Rep. J.D. Prescott and Chuck Goodrich, sponsored by Sen. Linda Rogers, passed the Indiana House on a 60-37 vote on Wednesday night with 9 Republicans joining House Democrats to oppose the bill. The Bill is now headed to the Senate. All authors and sponsors are members of the Republican party.

According to public records through the Indiana General Assembly website, House Bill 1134 would limit what Indiana teachers can discuss in the classroom regarding race, history, and politics.

This controversial bill was inspired by a nationwide debate over how schools teach about race, history, and social-emotional learning. 

Another component of this bill is that it lists a series of “divisive concepts” that would be banned from Indiana public school classrooms. Including talks of sex, race, ethnicity, color, national origin, or political affiliation.

The bill would allow parents who allege a violation of the ban to file a complaint and even sue schools.

It would also allow the state’s secretary of education to suspend or revoke anybody’s teaching license who violates the Bill, including principals and superintendents.

Teachers would also be required to post materials and activities that they use in the classroom onto websites for parents to see and create parent-centered curriculum review committees.

Lawmakers have listened to hours of public testimonies from teachers who want the freedom to tell their students the truth about dark periods of national and world history versus views from parents who are worried about what their children are being taught.

On Jan. 26th, State Rep. Sheila Klinker issued a statement regarding the Bill saying, “We are going to lose a lot of talented teachers because of this bill. We are already in the midst of a teacher shortage crisis. I am deeply concerned for the future of our education system if this bill becomes law. I urge my fellow legislators in the Senate to stop this bill from moving forward.”

Up to this point, there have been no official statements from the Indiana House of Representatives Republican Caucus regarding the Bill.

The WCRD news department will provide updates as they arise.

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