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Controversial CRT-inspired classroom bill killed in Indiana Senate

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Posted at 6:50 PM, Feb 28, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-28 23:32:42-05

INDIANAPOLIS — A bill that would have restricted what Indiana teachers can and cannot say about race, history and politics in classrooms was killed in the Senate Monday.

House Bill 1134 was killed in the Senate after it was not brought forward for a second reading.

Had it passed, the bill would have required teachers to post school curricula online to be vetted by parent review committees.

It would have also banned schools from implementing concepts like critical race theory, which examines the role of systemic racism in American society and is not taught in K-12 schools but has become a catch-all phrase for topics dealing with race.

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A watered-down version of the bill previously moved forward and was passed last week in the Indiana Senate education committee.

Indiana Senate Democrats said language from HB 1134 can come back or be inserted during future conference committees.

State educators, including the Indiana State Teachers Association, have heavily criticized the bill.

In a statement, the ISTA thanked educators, parents and others who voiced their opposition.

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"Over the past several weeks, ISTA members and public education advocates have shared their stories and voiced their concerns about stifling teachers’ ability to teach and students ability to receive an honest education. Hoosier parents and educators all want our students to succeed, and we’ll continue to be partners in standing up for what’s right for their future," the statement reads.

"Components of this bill could return during conference committee, so we’ll stay vigilant, but we hope lawmakers will take this opportunity to step back and collaborate with educators, parents, and others to create legislation that everyone can support for the benefit of all of our students.”

The American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana also celebrated the bill's death as a victory.

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The Warren Education Association, which supports and advocates on behalf of Metropolitan School District of Warren Township, said the outcome is a positive one.

"Warren Education Association is thankful for our teachers, parents, and community for making sure their voices were heard on HB 1134, a bill that would have stifled our teacher’s ability to teach and our students' ability to receive an honest education. WEA appreciates that lawmakers listened and we invite them to work together with Hoosier educators and parents to create education legislation that positively supports our students," the organization said.

This is a developing story.