INDIANAPOLIS — Several organizations are gathering virtually on Tuesday to talk about their opposition to House Bill 1134.
The bill limits what teachers can say in the classroom and was inspired by some debates regarding critical race theory.
The event will be held via Zoom beginning at 10 a.m. Teachers, students, civil rights leaders, faith-based leaders, and community stakeholders will talk about why they oppose this legislation.
Under the bill, teachers would be required to submit their classroom materials and activities to a website, or to the office, before every lesson. Parents could have their children opt out of lessons or materials they object to, forcing teachers to prepare separate lessons for students whose parents chose to opt out.
"HB 1134 is especially dangerous for students of color," Marion County Commission on Youth Director of Public Policy & Advocacy Sarah Williams said. "It would cause their history and cultural heritage to be erased from school curricula and their rights to a safe and equitable education to be threatened if teachers no longer receive training in cultural responsiveness."
The bill would apply similar restrictions on teacher training programs, and any individual in the state could file suit against the postsecondary institution if they had complaints about violations of the bill's provisions.
"This bill seeks to pretend that the atrocities of the past have not taken place," Indianapolis NAACP Vice President Ivan Hicks said. "We need to ensure that our children are in an environment where they have an opportunity to understand the atrocities of the past and the horrors of slavery — not simply the greatness of America."
"By enabling students and parents to sue the school if they feel their instructors have violated a provision of this very broad bill, HB 1134 would have a chilling effect on teaching about historical injustice or current discriminatory practices," said Indiana University Professor Emeritus Russ Skiba.
The bill would limit what teachers would say in class. They cannot present any racial stereotyping or blame on the basis of sex, race, ethnicity, color, national origin or political affiliation.