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Same lipstick, different pig: with Indiana HB 1134 Hoosier lawmakers continue their attacks on teachers

A couple weeks ago, I wrote an article about the Indiana Senate Bill 167 which caught quite a bit of attention. I certainly wasn’t the only one out there speaking out against that dreadful legislation. The pushback against that bill was very successful and it died before ever going to vote. That was a good feeling, but we knew it wouldn’t last. Even as the national spotlight was shining brightly on SB 167, a nearly identical bill was in its early stages on the other side of the Hoosier statehouse. I am referring to HB 1134, which has all of the same potentially disastrous qualities as its now decease cousin, SB 167. Here is a short list of the kinds of things that are in this bill that could cause the very collapse of public education in Indiana.

I’ve already addressed most of those bullet points in my article about Senate Bill 167, but I want to dive a little deeper into that last bullet point— “Teachers would be forbidden to teach any content that might make a student feel “uncomfortable” about their sex, race, ethnicity, religion, color, national origin, or political affiliation.”—which, at first blush, might sound innocuous to you. Let me assure you, that’s a scary proposition. Let me give you some examples…

Not only are all of those scenarios possible but some of them have already happened in different parts of the country. These are dangerous waters we are flirting with here, very dangerous. 

I’m not breaking any new ground with this, but it bears mentioning here that discomfort goes hand in hand with growth. If we are not made uncomfortable, we become stagnant, we atrophy, we regress. If we are not pushed past our comfort level, we tend to accept our world as it is. This is the opposite of what should happen in schools.

Sadly, HB 1134 was passed through the Indiana House of Representatives last night. Now it will head to the Senate to be debated and voted upon. Was SB 167 just a Trojan Horse sacrificed in a false show of good faith ahead of the arrival HB 1134? Will the Indiana Senate be able to muster up the courage to do the right thing and send HB 1134 to the wretched scrap heap of historically bad ideas? Well, I’m not going to hold my breath, and neither should you. Share the news about this with all your family and friends who care about teachers and students in Indiana’s public schools. 

Contact your state Senator and tell them to vote no on HB 1134.

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