Indiana House passes controversial education bill which now moves to Senate

State senators, who killed a similar bill in the Senate, will now determine if they will review HB 1134.
Controversial education bill passes Indiana House
Controversial education bill passes Indiana House(Fort Wayne's NBC)
Published: Jan. 26, 2022 at 10:36 PM EST
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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (WTHR) - Indiana lawmakers are moving forward with a contentious Republican-backed bill. Supporters say House Bill 1134 will increase transparency in K-12 schools and give parents more of a say. Last week, speakers at a news conference held by the Indiana State Teachers Association called HB 1134 “racist” and “dangerous.”

HB 1134 now moves to Indiana Senate
HB 1134 now moves to Indiana Senate(Fort Wayne's NBC)

“This is a heinous bill,” said Dr. Ivan Hicks with the Indianapolis NAACP. “It is a racist bill. It’s a bill that seeks to divide and does not bring us together as a community.” Supporters say the proposal is a way to make sure parents have more of a say in schools, giving them more avenues to review more teaching materials. The teachers union argued the bill also puts more stress on teachers, worrying it would exacerbate the state’s teacher shortage.

A “twin” bill, Senate Bill 167, died in the Senate earlier in the session after the bill’s author, Sen. Scott Baldwin, R-Hamilton County - said he wanted teachers to remain neutral, even when it came to Naziism — which he opposed. “I believe that we’ve gone too far when we take a position on those -isms,” Baldwin said. “We need to be impartial — again I’m going to use this term. We need to be the purveyors of reason. We just provide the facts. The kids formulate their own viewpoints.” Both bills have a passage limiting teachings, “That any individual should feel discomfort, guilt, anguish or any other form of psychological distress on account of the individual’s sex, race, ethnicity, religion, color, national origin or political affiliation.”

Both bills also say schools cannot provide ongoing “services for mental, social-emotional, or psychological health issues” without parental consent. However, and amended HB 1134 does not require consent for “potential health issue of a student or to provide an emergency response in a crisis situation” and would allow interventions if “the student is in immediate danger of experiencing abuse or neglect.”

The amended bill will allow families to sue if there’s an evaluation. It would also create a committee to review teaching materials and require teachers to post on a “curriculum portal.”

The Senate will now determine if they will review HB 1134.

13Investigates found that although the two bills are not identical, they do contain a lot of the same language.

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