Indiana Education Bill

Indiana Education Bill

Lizzie Graff, Reporter

A shocking bill is in the Indiana House right now. If it passes, school will completely change for public school students in Indiana. 

Senate Bill 167 just got pulled from the schedule for Wednesday’s meeting, however a very similar bill, House Bill 1134, is still scheduled to be voted on. It already passed once last Wednesday, but must be voted on again. 

In order for the bill to pass it must be passed through the house, then passed in the senate, then signed off by the governor. 

Called “Education Matters”, House Bill 1134 requires “qualified schools” to post their curriculum on the school’s respective website for review by parents, who can either opt in or opt out of certain curriculum. It also eliminates discussion of certain advantages or disadvantages of individuals according to sex, race, ethnicity, religion, color, national origin, or political affiliation. The bill also provides that without parental consent, students shall not participate in any sort of survey or discussion involving attitudes, habits, traits, opinions, beliefs, or feelings. It also “removes schools and certain public libraries from the list of entities eligible for a specified defense to criminal prosecutions alleging: (1) the dissemination of material harmful to minors; or (2) a performance harmful to minors.”

This bill is extremely controversial for students and educators, the people who actually attend and work at these schools five days a week. Teachers have testified that this bill would not actually improve teaching, but would take away important lessons from the curriculum, as well as add an unnecessary amount of work on educators.

The bill would ban critical race theory. Critical race theory is a curriculum that teaches that America’s history is centralized around institutionalized racism and that these systems continue in America to maintain white people as dominant.

The bill would also ban any sort of emotional learning and prevent discussion of many sensitive subjects. Sensitive subjects are important to be taught in school. They help students to form opinions and guide actions throughout life, as well as to see the truth in historical and current events. Scott Miller, the superintendent of Hamond schools brings up several important points: “Fear that diverse perspectives on our country’s founding will lessen the strength and patriotism of our young people.”

One of the biggest problems of this bill is how it will impact the educators. Many teachers claim they will either no longer teach if this bill will pass, especially in a time where the South Bend Community School is already struggling to find teachers. Teachers are already at an extremely low salary, and this bill would require them to do more work. For example, teachers must submit their curriculum for the upcoming year in July, only a month after the last school year has ended. Parents are able to go through this plan and pull their child from whatever lessons they choose. The teachers will then have to create an alternative curriculum for that student. No where in the bill does it mention an upgrade in pay for the hours of extra work these teachers would be putting in. 

The bill originally said that teachers must remain impartial when discussing things like nazism. However, this has currently been revoked. Even though this statement isn’t still there, the implications remain present. 

Find the bill here

Contact Governor Holcomb regarding your opinions on the bill.